An econometric analysis of effect of poverty on health status in Kenya
Musyoka, Peter K.
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One of the most important social-goal world-over is the achievement of good health. This is because, apart from been a fundamental right, it is also an invaluable asset and a prerequisite for improved productivity. However, the benefits associated with good health status may not be enjoyed in the presence of high poverty rates. Thus, poverty reduction is important in ensuring enjoyment of good health. In Kenya, despite the government’s effort to reduce poverty and improve health status of her citizens, poverty has remained high and health indicators have not been impressive either. This paper,therefore, sought to establish the effect of poverty on health status in Kenya. The study used Ordered Probit and the 2013 Kenya Household Expenditure and Utilization Survey dataset to achieve its objective. Estimation results indicate poverty reduction increased the probability of reporting own health as being very good and reduced that of reporting poor health,ceteris paribus. Increase in household size by one member increased the likelihood of reporting own health as being poor other factors held constant. A one year increase in age increased the probability of reporting poor health and reduced that of reporting very good health holding other factors constant. The probability of urban residents reporting own health as being poor was higher than their rural counterparts ceteris paribus. Being employed increased the probability of reporting own health as being very good compared to being unemployed other factors held constant. The study based on the findings concludes that poverty decreases the probability of reporting good health and, therefore, it is important for the government to formulate and implement policies that reduce or eradicate poverty.