Because Space Matters: Conceptual Framework to Help Distinguish Slum From Non-Slum Urban Areas

Despite an estimated one billion people around the world living in slums, most surveys of health and well-being do not distinguish between slum and non-slum urban residents. Identifying people who live in slums is important for research purposes and also to enable policymakers, program managers, donors, and non-governmental organizations to better target investments and services to areas of greatest deprivation. However, there is no consensus on what a slum is let alone how slums can be distinguished from non-slum urban precincts. Nor has attention been given to a more fine-grained classification of urban spaces that might go beyond a simple slum/non-slum dichotomy. The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework to help tackle the related issues of slum definition and classification of the urban landscape. […]

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Urban Health in Kenya Key Findings 2000 Nairobi Cross-Sectional Slum Survey

In the year 2000, APHRC conducted the first Nairobi Cross-Sectional Slum Survey that examined health profiles of urban slum residents comparing them with those of rural residents in Kenya. The 2000 “Population and Health Dynamics in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements” report showed that slum residents have poorer health and social outcomes than residents in more affluent neighborhoods, and perhaps surprisingly, than rural residents. This fact sheet contrasts the report’s urban health findings with subsequent assessments including the recent 2008/09 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS). […]

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Migration Experience and Premarital Sexual Initiation in Urban Kenya: An Event History Analysis

Migration during the formative adolescent years can affect important life-course transitions, including the initiation of sexual activity. In this study, we use life history calendar data to investigate the relationship between changes in residence and timing of premarital sexual debut among young people in urban Kenya. By age 18, 64 percent of respondents had initiated premarital sex, and 45 percent had moved at least once between the ages of 12 and 18. Results of the event history analysis show that girls and boys who move during early adolescence experience the earliest onset of sexual activity. For adolescent girls, however, other dimensions of migration provide protective effects, with greater numbers of residential changes and residential changes in the last one to three months associated with later sexual initiation. To support young people’s ability to navigate the social, economic, and sexual environments that accompany residential change, researchers and policymakers should consider how various dimensions of migration affect sexual activity. […]

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Urban Health in Kenya Key Findings 2000 Nairobi Cross-Sectional Slum Survey

In the year 2000, APHRC conducted the first Nairobi Cross-Sectional Slum Survey that examined health profiles of urban slum residents comparing them with those of rural residents in Kenya. The 2000 “Population and Health Dynamics in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements” report showed that slum residents have poorer health and social outcomes than residents in more affluent neighborhoods, and perhaps surprisingly,than rural residents. Below we contrast the report’s urban health findings with subsequent assessments including the recent 2008/09 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS). […]

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Determinants for HIV Testing and Counselling in Nairobi Urban Informal Settlements

Abstract

Background:

Counselling and testing is important in HIV prevention and care. Majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa do not know their HIV status and are therefore unable to take steps to prevent infection or take up life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs in time if infected. This study aimed at exploring determinants of HIV testing and counselling in two Nairobi informal settlements.

Methods:

Data are derived from a cross-sectional survey nested in an ongoing demographic surveillance system. A total of 3,162 individuals responded to the interview and out of these, 82% provided a blood sample which was tested using rapid test kits. The outcome of interest in this paper was HIV testing status in the past categorised as “never tested”; “client-initiated testing and counselling (CITC)” and provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC). Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify determinants of HIV testing.

Results:

Approximately 31% of all respondents had ever been tested for HIV through CITC, 22% through PITC and 42% had never been tested but indicated willingness to test. Overall, 62% of females and 38% of males had ever been tested for HIV. Males were less likely to have had CITC (OR = 0.47; p value < 0.001) and also less likely to have had PITC (OR = 0.16; p value < 0.001) compared to females. Individuals aged 20-24 years were more likely to have had either CITC or PITC compared to the other age groups. The divorced/separated/widowed were more likely (OR = 1.65; p value < 0.01) to have had CITC than their married counterparts, while the never married were less likely to have had either CITC or PITC. HIV positive individuals (OR = 1.60; p value < 0.01) and those who refused testing in the survey (OR = 1.39; p value < 0.05) were more likely to have had CITC compared to their HIV negative counterparts. [...]

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Do Migrant Children Face Greater Health Hazards in Slum Settlements? Evidence From Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Between 60% and 70% of Nairobi City’s population live in congested informal settlements, commonly referred to as slums, without proper access to sanitation, clean water, health care and other social services. Children in such areas are exposed to disproportionately high health hazards. This paper examines the impact of mother and child migration on the survival of more than 10,000 children in two of Nairobi’s informal settlements—Korogocho and Viwandani—between July 2003 and June 2007, using a two-stage semi-parametric proportional hazards (Cox) model that controls for attrition and various factors that affect child survival. Results show that the slum-born have higher mortality than non-slum-born, an indication that delivery in the slums has long-term health consequences for children. Children born in the slums to women who were pregnant at the time of migration have the highest risk of dying. Given the high degree of circular migration, factors predisposing children born in the slums to recent migrant mothers to higher mortality should be better understood and addressed. […]

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Fatal Injuries in the Slums of Nairobi and Their Risk Factors: Results From a Matched Case-Control Study

Abstract

Injuries contribute significantly to the rising morbidity and mortality attributable to non-communicable diseases in the developing world. Unfortunately, active injury surveillance is lacking in many developing countries, including Kenya. This study aims to describe and identify causes of and risk factors for fatal injuries in two slums in Nairobi city using a demographic surveillance system framework. The causes of death are determined using verbal autopsies. We used a nested case-control study design with all deaths from injuries between 2003 and 2005 as cases. Two controls were randomly selected from the non-injury deaths over the same period and individually matched to each case on age and sex. We used conditional logistic regression modeling to identity individual- and community-level factors associated with fatal injuries. Intentional injuries accounted for about 51% and unintentional injuries accounted for 49% of all injuries. Homicides accounted for 91% of intentional injuries and 47% of all injury-related deaths. Firearms (23%) and road traffic crashes (22%) were the leading single causes of deaths due to injuries. About 15% of injuries were due to substance intoxication, particularly alcohol, which in this community comes from illicit brews and is at times contaminated with methanol. Results suggest that in the pervasively unsafe and insecure environment that characterizes the urban slums, ethnicity, residence, and area level factors contribute significantly to the risk of injury-related mortality. […]

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