HIV/AIDS mortality differential across provinces in Kenya and through time
Adari, Johnson Samuel
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This study examined the relationship between socio-economic factors and AIDS mortality rate in the eight provinces of Kenya between 1995 and 2002. The fundamental difference between this study and the previous ones was its focus on AIDS-related deaths instead of HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. The greatest challenge in this exercise was finding region-specific data about Kenya since data banks managed by global organizations like World Bank and United Nation are aggregated at national level. AIDS mortality records are also poorly kept and in some cases unavailable and/or unreliable. The nature of the available data necessitated the use of panel data analysis. From the reviewed literature, the use of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) procedure in analyzing longitudinal data encounters several problems. Therefore, in this study, fixed effects model was estimated to cater for time-invariant factors and the resulting coefficients were compared to the OLS estimates. The findings of this exercise support the notion that AIDS mortality rate is higher in poverty stricken regions. The negative association between AIDS mortality rate and urban HIV prevalence, government spending on health care and per capita GDP became eminent. Rural HIV prevalence was found to correlate positively with AIDS-related death. Female literacy rate remained indeterminate since OLS predicted a negative relationship and fixed effects model estimated a positive coefficient. OLS estimator shows that an increase in female education lowers AIDS mortality rate since more educated women provide better care to the infected individuals. According to fixed effects, an increase in female education promotes AIDS-related deaths. This is true since educated women find professional jobs and therefore get withdrawn from offering home care to the patients. The study concluded that there are factors that extend the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in urban areas and those attributes are lacking in rural areas. Also, HIV infected people in urban areas return to their mral homes for support and care from family. Efforts to fight HIV/AIDS should be incorporated into the poverty alleviation programs. And the government should formulate and implement policies that will increase capital stock in the country.
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