Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Kenya: Results From a Nationally Representative Population-Based Survey
In Kenya, it is estimated that there are approximately 3.6 million children aged <18 years who have been orphaned or who are vulnerable. We examined the data from the second Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS 2012) to determine the number and profile of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Kenya who were aged <18 years.
KAIS 2012 was a nationally representative, population-based household survey. We analyzed the data for all the children from birth to age 17 years who resided in an eligible household so as to determine whether their parents were alive or had been very ill to define their OVC status.
We estimated that there were 2.6 million OVC in Kenya in 2012, of whom 1.8 million were orphans and 750,000 were vulnerable. Among orphans, 15% were double orphans. Over one-third of all the OVC were aged between 10 and 14 years. Households with ≥1 OVC (12% of all households) were usually in the lowest 2 wealth quintiles, and 22% of OVC households had experienced moderate or severe hunger. Receipt of OVC support services was low for medical (3.7%), psychological (4.1%), social (1.3%), and material support (6.2%); educational support was slightly more common (11.5%). Orphanhood among children aged <15 years increased from 1993 to 2003 (P < 0.01) but declined from 2003 to 2012 (P < 0.01).
The 2.6 million OVC constitute a significant proportion of Kenya's population aged <18 years. Special attention should be paid to OVC to prevent further vulnerability and ensure their well-being and development as they transition into adulthood.
Available from: Lauren A. Raimer-Goodman
- "Between 1980 and 1997, gross primary enrollment fell precipitously in Kenya, reflecting some of the consequences of parental loss, predominantly caused by the AIDS pandemic (Ferreira, P.C., Pessoa, S., & Dos Santos, M.R. 2011). The confluence of increased poverty, worse nutritional outcomes, decreased mental health and social status, and increased number of household dependents among households caring for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) is responsible for persistently worse primary completion rates among OVC compared to non-OVC (Amoako Johnson, F., Padmadas, S. S., & Smith, P. W. 2010; Lee et al., 2014; Beegle, K., De Weerdt, J., &Dercon, S., 2010). The loss of human capital among OVC could substantially impact economic development of the next generation (Evans & Miguel, 2007), continuing a negative spiral of worse economic and educational indicators. "
Available from: Nicholas Muraguri Muraguri
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ABSTRACT: : AIDS Indicator Surveys are standardized surveillance tools used by countries with generalized HIV epidemics to provide, in a timely fashion, indicators for effective monitoring of HIV. Such data should guide responses to the HIV epidemic, meet program reporting requirements, and ensure comparability of findings across countries and over time. Kenya has conducted 2 AIDS Indicator Surveys, in 2007 (KAIS 2007) and 2012-2013 (KAIS 2012). These nationally representative surveys have provided essential epidemiologic, sociodemographic, behavioral, and biologic data on HIV and related indicators to evaluate the national HIV response and inform policies for prevention and treatment of the disease. We present a summary of findings from KAIS 2007 and KAIS 2012 and the impact that these data have had on changing HIV policies and practice.
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ABSTRACT: This study analyzes healthcare access and general self-rated health (GSRH) among orphan and vulnerable child (OVC) households enrolled in an empowerment program in Eastern Province, Kenya. Analyses investigate whether reported monthly income mediates the association between program participation and medical security. Predictors of GSRH are also investigated.
Cross-sectional survey data on families (n = 707) participating in a multisectoral empowerment program were collected in June 2012. Regression methods were used to investigate study aims.
Monthly income mediated 14.3 % of the total effect of program participation on healthcare accessibility. Program participation was not significantly associated with higher GSRH.
Increased reported monthly income predicted improved healthcare access, but only explained a portion of improved healthcare access in the study population. Partnerships between community-based empowerment programs and clinical providers might successfully target multiple outcomes among OVC, including improved healthcare access, though further research on potential synergies is required. GSRH was associated with increased access to food, medical care, literacy, safe drinking water and household income. Further research on GSRH among OVC should target measurement validity, potential sources of disparity in GSRH between OVC and non-OVC, and targets for improving GSRH among OVC.
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