Seasonal Variations in Food Insecurity Prevalence of Mother-Child Dyads in Seme Sub-County, Kisumu, Kenya

  • Kenneth Kipngeno Tonui Maseno University
  • Agatha Christine Onyango, PhD Maseno University
  • Collins Ouma, PhD Maseno University
Keywords: Food Security, Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Systems, Coping Strategies
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Food insecurity remains a major impediment to the attainment of adequate health outcomes among the population. This is attributable to the adverse implications that food insecurity poses on the nutritional status of the populations. Globally, in the year 2021, an estimated population of 3.1 billion people (42%) faced unprecedented food crisis evident by inability to afford a healthy meal. Meanwhile, global rates of stunting attributable to food insecurity among children under the age of sixty months was 22.3%. In Kenya, close to 32% of the populations are acutely food insecure and require urgent food insecurity interventions. Kisumu County is a food import county; hence, decline in food supplies in the counties depends on for food supply results in food crisis amongst its populace. Women and children are disproportionately affected by food insecurity due to gender and age-related factors. Rural populations are often worse affected by food insecurity as evident by high rates of stunting experienced in rural areas when compared to overweight rates that are more in urban areas. It is on this basis that we sought to assess the prevalence of food insecurity among mother-child dyads drawn from Seme Sub-County, a rural area in the County of Kisumu, Kenya. We used a longitudinal study design adopting repeated cross-sectional measures to assess food security status of a sample of 201 mother-child pairs during planting and harvesting seasons. Food security status of mothers was assessed quantitatively using Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. Children’s food security status was assessed using Prevalence of Undernourishment as indicated by the anthropometric measurements. Qualitative data were further synthesized using Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions to complement quantitative data on prevalence of food insecurity among mother-child dyads. Data was analysed descriptively to indicate proportions of mothers and children depicting various food insecurity classifications. The mean HFIAS score for season I; 11.22 (± 5.36 SD) was statistically significantly different (higher) than mean HFIAS score for season II; 9.63 (± 5.18 SD) at α ≤ 0.05 (t-test: p=0.003). During planting season, a majority of the mothers; 134 (70.9%) experienced severe food insecurity prevalence and during harvesting season, a majority of the mothers; 117 (61.9%) experienced severe food insecurity prevalence. In planting season, almost three-quarters of the children; 137 (72.5%) were food secure as they had normal weight-for-age Z score (were not underweight). On the other hand, slightly higher than average; 102 (54.0%) of the children were food secure during harvesting season. These findings demonstrate suboptimal variations in prevalence of food insecurity across the two seasons. Mothers were more likely to experience severe food insecurity prevalence than children. Thus, there is a need to develop adequate interventions aimed at optimizing intra-household food distribution dynamics as means of ensuring adequate food security for both mothers and children in the study area


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17 June, 2024
How to Cite
Tonui, K., Onyango, A., & Ouma, C. (2024). Seasonal Variations in Food Insecurity Prevalence of Mother-Child Dyads in Seme Sub-County, Kisumu, Kenya. East African Journal of Health and Science, 7(1), 276-284.