Effect of Mother’s Education on Child Stunting in the Urban Slums of Nairobi

Benta A. Abuya, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
James Ciera, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Kimani-Murage Elizabeth, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Poor health and poor nutrition are more of a characteristic of children living in urban areas than of children in rural areas. As such, the urban advantage as a protective mechanism is being eroded for young children. In East Africa, 48% of children under-five are stunted while 36% are underweight. This study sought to determine the effect of mothers’ education on child stunting (n=5,156). Data is from the maternal and child health project nested within the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS). Results show that close to 40% of children living in Nairobi slums are stunted. Maternal education is a strong predictor of child stunting but the association is mediated by other factors at maternal, household and community level. Overall, mothers’ education is important as far as it imparts health knowledge to women and alters their health seeking behavior, which leads to better child nutrition.

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Presented in Session 60: Health and Mortality - International Experiences