Underage mortality in Western region is higher than in the rest of the country, a health survey by the National Bureau of Statistics says.
Findings by the Kenya Demographic Health Survey between 2012-14 indicate that 65 in every 1,000 live births in the region die as compared to the national mortality rate of 59 deaths per 1,000.
The report indicates that death of the under five years is remarkably higher in Western than the rest of the country.
While the under five mortality is 121 death per 1,000 live births in Western, the national mortality rate of 84 in every 1, 000, according to the report.
The report however says that childhood vaccination in the region and nationally has improved.
The survey reports that 73 percent of children aged 12-23 months in the region have received all the basic recommended vaccinations.
These include BCG, Measles and three doses each of DPT and polio vaccines. This shows a substantial increase in vaccination from 50 percent in 2009.
The region also has 92 percent of women with a live birth receiving antenatal care from skilled provider. The antenatal care received, the survey reports may not be complete.
“Women in Western are less likely than the average Kenyan woman to take iron tablets or syrup, intestinal parasite drugs or have urine or blood samples taken during pregnancy,” the report says.
Only 25 percent of births in Western occur in health facilities compared to the national average of 43 percent.
The region has the lowest rate of delivery assistance by skilled provider at 26 percent, a trend that has not changed in the last ten years.
The findings indicate that the region has 34 percent of its under five-child population stunted due to malnutrition. Only half of infants in the area are breast fed exclusively for more than one month.