Progress towards achieving child survival goals in Kenya after devolution: Geospatial analysis with scenario-based projections, 2015-2025
Joseph NK, Macharia PM, Okiro EA
PLOS Glob Public Health. 2022;2
Subnational projections of under-5 mortality (U5M) have increasingly become an essential planning tool to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda and strategies for improving child survival. To support child health policy, planning, and tracking child development goals in Kenya, we projected U5M at units of health decision making. County-specific annual U5M were estimated using a multivariable Bayesian space-time hierarchical model based on intervention coverage from four alternate intervention scale-up scenarios assuming 1) the highest subnational intervention coverage in 2014, 2) projected coverage based on the fastest county-specific rate of change observed in the period between 2003-2014 for each intervention, 3) the projected national coverage based on 2003-2014 trends and 4) the country-specific targets of intervention coverage relative to business as usual (BAU) scenario. We compared the percentage change in U5M based on the four scale-up scenarios relative to BAU and examined the likelihood of reaching SDG 3.2 target of at least 25 deaths/1,000 livebirths by 2022 and 2025. Projections based on 10 factors assuming BAU, showed marginal reductions in U5M across counties with all the counties except Mandera county not achieving the SDG 3.2 target by 2025. Further, substantial reductions in U5M would be achieved based on the various intervention scale-up scenarios, with 63.8% (30), 74.5% (35), 46.8% (22) and 61.7% (29) counties achieving SDG target for scenarios 1,2,3 and 4 respectively by 2025. Scenario 2 yielded the highest reductions of U5M with individual scale-up of access to improved water, recommended treatment of fever and accelerated HIV prevalence reduction showing considerable impact on U5M reduction (>/= 20%) relative to BAU. Our results indicate that sustaining an ambitious intervention scale-up strategy matching the fastest rate observed between 2003-2014 would substantially reduce U5M in Kenya. However, despite this ambitious scale-up scenario, 25% (12 of 47) of the Kenya's counties would still not achieve SDG 3.2 target by 2025.