Globally, 10.5 million children die annually. Approximately 6 million of Kenya’s population are under five years with a child mortality rate of 74 per 1000 live births. Children attending Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) have preventable and treatable illnesses. The aim of the study was to assess care taker factors associated with disease outcome among children at KNH. A cross sectional study was conducted; questionnaires were administered to the caretakers of the 156 children recruited in the study. Data entry was done in Microsoft Access and analyzed using statistical package for Social Science (SPSS). There was a significant association between diseases outcome and length of exclusive breast-feeding (P < 0.025), occupation of both fathers and mothers (P< 0.026 and P <0.001, respectively) in the priority disease outcomes. There was a statistically significant association between duration of illness and that of seeking treatment before visiting KNH, (P < 0.001). Children who stayed more than 2 months before seeking health care at KNH had a 3-fold risk of becoming priority cases. Using formal education as the reference category for mother occupation, the odds of priority outcome for unemployed compared to formal education was 10.4 and informal education compared to formal education was 7.6. Caretakers delayed in seeking health care, prior to admission. Results from this study suggest that occupation of parents was a major determinant in regard to disease outcome. Communities need to be empowered to obtain and access basic health care services. More studies need to be done to identify specific caretaker factors associated with childhood illnesses. This will enable to evaluate further the possible interventions in the health care delivery among children. A longitudinal study is crucial to follow up children post admission addressing specific illnesses. Occupation of parents, occupation of parents and length of exclusive breast-feeding was a major determinant in regard to disease category.
Key words: Disease outcome, cross sectional, priority, emergency category.
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