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Effects of Second Hand Smoking on the Health of School Children in Awendo, Kenya

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) can cause diseases and deaths among children. Yet children continue to be exposed especially among the low income countries. Epidemiological evidence shows that children of smoking parents have increased risk of neuro-behavioral deficits, neurodevelopmental deficits and childhood cancer. The aim of this study was to find out if children living in low-income countries are still exposed to SHS and its additional burden on the health and school absenteeism among children in the rural setting. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in February-March 2016. A 2-stage cluster-sample design was used to obtain a representative sample (N=600) of private and public primary day school students year 7 and 8 (aged 12-15 years old) in Awendo. A higher proportion (55.5%) of the younger children lived with one or more than two smokers in the home. A modest proportion of children reported complete restriction of smoking at home. The risk of Asthmatic attack increased by more than three fold and more than ten fold among children living with one smoker and among those living with more than two smokers respectively. Smoking has been associated with poor dietary intake, in this case children living with smokers were found to be significantly malnourished. Successful smoking cessation among residents living with children could contribute to decreased asthmatic attacks, malnutrition and school absenteeism.

Secondhand Smoke, School Children, Health Effects

Elizabeth Mwaniki, Judith Waswa. (2019). Effects of Second Hand Smoking on the Health of School Children in Awendo, Kenya. Central African Journal of Public Health, 5(6), 266-271. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.cajph.20190506.17

Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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