Factors associated with pneumonia in children under five (2-59 months) in Nairobi, Kenya

Caroline M.W, Maina E.N.M., Karanja S

Caroline M.W[1], Maina E.N.M.[2], Karanja S[2],

  1. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Public Health , Nairobi
  2. Nairobi University, Department of Biochemistry, Nairobi

Corresponding Author: Caroline Muthoni Wachira, P.O Box 54583–00200; E-mail: Wachira.carol@gmail.com


Introduction: Pneumonia the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children under five in the world. Most deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Objective: This study investigated factors associated with pneumonia at their first presentation in Mbagathi District Hospital, Nairobi County.

Methods: We conducted a hospital based cross-sectional study at the pediatric department at Mbagathi District Hospital. All guardians of children between 2-59 months were recruited at the hospital causality and inpatient department. Pneumonia diagnosis was based on WHO definitions. Pneumonia was associated with fast breathing with or without chest in drawing. Severe pneumonia was defined as fast breathing with any danger signs. Systematic random sampling procedure was used to select study participants.  A total of 384 guardians together with their children were sampled.

Results: Childhood pneumonia was caused by a combination of exposure to risk factors related to the host, the environment and infection. Low level of education of guardians was associated with pneumonia in children p<0.0.5 (Wald= 8.358, df =3). Crowding was associated with pneumonia in children p<0.05 (OR 0.33, 95% CI, 0.11-0.95). Birth weight of children was significantly associated with pneumonia p<0.05 (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38-0.92).

Conclusions: The prevalence of pneumonia in children is reducing, this due to the public health interventions in the households and the hospital facility. Poor environmental factors increase the suffering of the community and this makes it difficult to prevent and control pneumonia.

Increased pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage in children could significantly reduce the burden of pneumonia in sub-Saharan African countries.

Key words: Childhood pneumonia, streptococcus pneumoniae, under five (2-59 months), Acute lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI).

[Afr J Health Sci. 2017; 31(1):31-39]

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