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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Philosophy
Title Morbidity and mortality among 5-17 year old children admitted in five hospitals in Kenya in the year 2013
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL https://open.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11427/16723/thesis_hsf_2015_osano_bonface_ombaba.pdf?sequenc​e=1
Abstract
Background: Global morbidity and mortality trends have changed over time and are expected to continue
changing. Preventable diseases, such as those caused by infectious agents, still account for a large
proportion of morbidity cases in Africa. With increased survival of children under five years old, there is
likely to be a change in morbidity and mortality patterns for children aged 6-18 years. However, there are
few studies in Africa that explore the burden of disease (morbidity and mortality) and injuries in children
above the age of five. This study aims to determine the morbidity and mortality patterns among children
aged 5-17 years in six Kenyan hospitals in 2013.
Methods: This study is designed as a retrospective review of patients’ medical records. Data was
collected from all patient records at Kisii Level 5 Hospital (KL5H), Naivasha County Referral Hospital,
Karatina Hospital, Garissa Provincial General Hospital, Mbagathi District Hospital, and Gertrude’s
Children’s Hospital in Kenya, of patients who presented from the 1st day of January to 31st December
2013. Data was analysed to provide descriptive statistics and Pearson’s chi-square test and odds ratios
were calculated to explore differences in morbidity and mortality rates between age categories, gender
and hospitals.
Results: 4 520 patient records were retrieved for patients who met the inclusion criteria. Among these
admissions, 70% suffered from communicable diseases, maternal causes or nutritional diseases (32.3%
were common infectious diseases, such as malaria and diarrhoea; 14.9% were respiratory infections; 24%
were pregnancy related), 33.1% suffered from non-communicable diseases, while 13% of the admissions
had injuries (mainly from falls/trips and road traffic accidents), with motorcycles causing the majority
(58%) of road traffic accidents.. Injuries increased with age for males. The in-hospital mortality rate was
3.5%. Among deaths, 60% suffered from communicable diseases, maternal and nutritional causes; 41.3%
suffered from non-communicable diseases and 11.9% had injuries. There were variations in admissions
and deaths between the ages, genders and hospitals. There were more female (57%) patients admitted but
more male (57%) deaths.
Conclusion: Infectious and maternal causes are the biggest contributor to morbidity while infectious
causes have the highest proportion of causes of death. There is a need to understand why the high
proportion of females under 18 years of age is admitted for maternal causes and to develop reproductive
health services to better address the health care needs of adolescents on Kenya.

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