Prevalence and risk factors of anaemia among children aged between 6 months and 14 years in Kenya

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 25;9(11):e113756. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113756. eCollection 2014.


Background: Anaemia is one of the significant public health problems among children in the world. Understanding risk factors of anaemia provides more insight to the nature and types of policies that can be put up to fight anaemia. We estimated the prevalence and risk factors of anaemia in a population-based, cross-sectional survey.

Methodology: Blood samples from 11,711 children aged between 6 months and 14 years were collected using a single-use, spring-loaded, sterile lancet to make a finger prick. Anaemia was measured based on haemoglobin concentration level. The generalized linear model framework was used to analyse the data, in which the response variable was either a child was anemic or not anemic.

Results: The overall prevalence of anaemia among the children in Kenya was estimated to be 28.8%. Across each band of age within which the definition of anaemia remained constant (0–4, 5–11, and 12–14 years old), the prevalence of anaemia declined with each year of age. [corrected]. The risk of anaemia was significantly higher in male than female children. Mothers with secondary and above education had a protective effect on the risk of anaemia on their children. Malaria diagnosis status of a child was positively associated with risk anaemia.

Conclusion: Controlling co-morbidity of malaria and improving maternal knowledge are potential options for reducing the burden of anaemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.