Prevalence and Correlates of Alcohol Use among Underage High-School Students in Murang’a and Kajiado Counties, Kenya
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Background: Alcohol use during adolescence is an important risk factor for a host of physical and social problems affecting the young people globally. There is limited data on the prevalence of alcohol use among the underage in Kenya. Aim: To determine the prevalence and correlates of alcohol use among underage high-school students in Murang‟a and Kajiado Counties in Kenya Methods: A random sample of 938 respondents (61.9% males and 38.1% females) below 18 years was obtained from Kajiado and Murang‟a on proportionate to stratum size. A multilevel logistic regression was used to investigate potential correlates to alcohol use. Results: The prevalence of current alcohol use was 37% and was significantly associated with being male (AOR = 1.58; 95% CI 1.40, 2.42) ;ease of getting an adult to buy alcohol (AOR=2.20; 95% CI 1.57, 3.10); cigarette use (AOR = 3.8; 95% CI 1.86, 8.28) and having multiple sexual partners (AOR =1.17; 95% 1.15, 1.20). Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of underage alcohol use in Murang‟a and Kajiado. A joint program targeting parents and teachers could be initiated so as to heighten the level of interventions required to avert further escalation of the problem.