Access and utilization of healthcare services among children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in Kenya.

Reference Number: 
PGD5/JAbuga/Neurodevelopmental disabilities
Jonathan Abuga and Prof Charles Newton



The burden of childhood neurodisability has significantly increased over the past 2-3 decades. While mortality in children generally decreased over the same period, improved childhood survival possibly increased the burden of neurodevelopmental disorders. For example, the prevalence of neurological impairments was 65/1,000 in Kilifi in 2014. Childhood mental health problems are also common in rural areas of Kenya (10%). These children have unmet needs that require specialized care services such as psychotherapy, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation. However, little is known about the availability and utilization of these services for children with neurodevelopmental problems in low and middle-income countries.


Question to be addressed by interns

  1. Are there appropriate healthcare services for children with neurodevelopmental disability in Kenya?
  2. Are there unique features/characteristics in children with a neurodevelopmental disability who utilize appropriate healthcare services?
  3. What are the temporal and spatial trends in the utilization of appropriate healthcare services in children with disorders between 2001-2018 in Kilifi?


Skills to be acquired by the intern

The student shall learn about the design of epidemiological studies, the collection of primary data, when and how to use secondary data, data cleaning, data analysis, spatial representation of data and research communication. The student shall also conduct a systematic review on access to appropriate services in children with neurodisability in low and middle-income countries.


Preferred training background of required intern

A person with demonstrable experience in Epidemiological/Statistical/Geospatial experience with background training Public/Environmental Health, Nursing Sciences, Medicine or other health-related degree courses.


Suggested references

Mung’ala-Odera, V. et al. (2006) ‘Prevalence and risk factors of neurological disability and impairment in children living in rural Kenya’, International Journal of Epidemiology, 35(3), pp. 683–688. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyl023.

Juran S, Broer PN, Klug SJ., et al. Geospatial mapping of access to timely essential surgery in sub- Saharan Africa. BMJ Glob Health 2018;3:e000875. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000875


Application deadline: 11 February 2019