The primary objective of the 2008-09 KDHS, like its predecessors, is to
provide up-to-date information for policymakers, planners, researchers, and programme managers.
This information guides the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of population
and health programmes in Kenya. Specifically, the survey collects data on the following:
fertility levels, marriage, sexual activity, fertility preferences, awareness and use of family
planning methods, breastfeeding practices, nutritional status of women and young children,
childhood and maternal mortality, maternal and child health, malaria and use of mosquito nets, domestic
violence, awareness and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections
(STIs), and HIV prevalence among adults.
The results of the current survey present evidence of a resumption of the
fertility decline observed in the 1980s and the 1990s in Kenya. The total fertility rate (TFR) of
4.6 children per woman is the lowest rate ever recorded for Kenya. This decline in fertility
could be attributed to an increase in the proportion of currently married women using contraception, which
rose from 7 percent in 1978 to 46 percent in 2008-09.
Survey results also indicate a resumption in the decline of childhood mortality.
The underfive- mortality rate decreased to 74 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008-09, down
from 115 deaths in 2003, while the infant mortality rate was 52 deaths per 1,000 live births, down
from 77 deaths reported in 2003. The improvement in child survival is corroborated by increases
in child vaccination coverage, in ownership and use of mosquito bednets, and in antenatal care
coverage, all of which have been shown to reduce child mortality. Overall, 77 percent of children age 12-23
months are fully vaccinated, and only three percent have not received any vaccines. Use of
mosquito nets is considered to be one of the strongest strategies in the fight against malaria. The survey
found that 61 percent of households own at least one mosquito net (treated or untreated), and 56 percent
report owning at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN). Fifty-one percent of children under five
years and 53 percent of pregnant women slept under a mosquito net the night prior to the interview. The
results also indicate that 9 in 10 mothers visited a health professional at least once for antenatal
care for the most recent birth in the five-year period preceding the survey. These trends and a plethora
of other important findings imply that the deterioration in the quality of life among the Kenyan
population seen in earlier surveys has been reversed...