Explaining the Rural-Urban Gap in Infant Mortality in Kenya.

Ezekiel N. Ngure, Population Studies and Research Institute, University of Nairobi

Rural-urban differentials in infant mortality is well documented in Kenya, ignoring factors contributing to the rural-urban gap. This study establishes factors contributing to widening or narrowing the rural-urban gap in Kenya. 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data was used. Factors significantly associated with infant mortality were analyzed using Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Model and their contribution to the gap computed. 92% of the rural-urban gap was explained by differences in distribution of covariates while 8% was due to their differences in coefficients. Distribution of source of drinking water; duration of breastfeeding and ethnicity contributed in widening the gap by 54%, 23% and 18% respectively. Distribution of mother’s age at birth and ever use of contraceptives contributed to the reduction of the gap by 7% and 2% respectively. Policies should focus on enhancing provision of health services and improving socioeconomic factors in urban areas to improve child survival and reduce observed inequalities.

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  Presented in Session 94. Urban Health and Wellbeing II