Mortality among 5-17 year old children in Kenya

Tuesday, 7th of November 2017 Print

Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jun 15;27:121. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2017.27.121.10727. eCollection 2017.

Mortality among 5-17 year old children in Kenya.

Osano BO1,2, Were F1, Mathews S2.

Author information

1 University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences, Kenya.

2 University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract below; full text is at


Global mortality trends have changed over time and are expected to continue changing with a reduction in communicable diseases and an increase of non-communicable disease. Increased survival of children beyond five years may change mortality patterns for these children. There are few studies in Africa that explore the causes of mortality in children over five years. The objective of this study was to determine the mortality rate and clinical profiles of children aged 5-17 years who died in six Kenyan hospitals in 2013.


Retrospective review of patient medical records to abstract data on diagnosis for those who died in year 2013. Data was analysed to provide descriptive statistics and explored differences in mortality rates between age groups and gender.


We retrieved 4,520 patient records. The in-hospital mortality rate was 3.5% (95%CI 3.0-4.1) with variations in deaths between the ages and gender. Among the deaths, 60% suffered from communicable diseases, maternal and nutritional causes; 41.3% suffered from non-communicable diseases. A further 11.9% succumbed to traumatic injuries. The predominant clinical diagnoses among patients who died were HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections and malaria.


Infectious causes had the highest proportion of diagnoses among children aged 5-17 years who died.