Distribution of disease incidence across age groups

Post Date: 15 November 2018   |   Category: Health   |   Hits: 84

Incidence of disease refers to the number of new cases in a period of time – usually one year. The statistic is useful in measuring the probability of occurrence of the particular sickness.  Incidence of disease is expressed as a rate, that is, proportion of reported cases. A higher statistic will imply high incidence and hence high probability of the occurrence of the cases.  Incidence of disease differs from prevalence of diseases which is a measure of the burden of the disease on society. Whereas, incidence rates measures new cases of reported sickness, the prevalence rates looks at the total number of the cases divided by the population.
The information on incidence of diseases is crucial in the design of requisite policy interventions as well as monitoring existing programmes and internationally agreed milestones such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2015/16 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) collected information on sickness and injury experienced by household members during the four weeks preceding the survey. Overall results reveal that, out of the estimated population of 45.37 million, 21.5% reported cases of sickness in the 2015/16 survey. This works out to 9.7 million Kenyans seeking treatment annually.

Out of the 9.7 million, 6.5 million (66%) of the reported cases are from the rural parts of Kenya while the remaining 3.3 million (44%) residing in urban Kenya, thus revealing high disease incidence in rural places compared to urban residents. 
The chart below presents the share distribution of the 6.5 million Kenyans in rural Kenya and the 3.3 million Kenyans in urban Kenya seeking treatment annually across different age groups.

Percentage distribution of incidence of sickness across age groups

Source: Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey 2015/16

Number of the Week: 21.5% incidence of disease rate in Kenya

  • The probability of the occurrence of the cases of sickness nationally stands at 21.5% with rural Kenya being at 22.2% while in the urban areas being at 20.2%.
  • Females have a higher rate of occurrence at 23.8% compared to their male counterparts whose rate is 19.1%.  
  • Incidence rates are highest among the children (population below 18 years), whereby out of all the reported diseases, 49.1% and 43.6% were among the children in rural and urban Kenya respectively.
  • Rural places also continue to exhibit high incidence rates of sickness even among the population aged 35 years and above. Approximately, a quarter (26.4%) of all reported cases in rural Kenya are among the elderly population (35 -70 years), compared to 21.8% of their counterparts in urban areas. Similarly, incidence of sickness in rural areas is almost twice compared to the urban which stands at 3.0%. 
  • It is among the youth (18 -35 years) that a reverse in the density of sickness is observed, there is high reported disease cases among the youth dwelling in urban areas with the rate of 31.5% compared to the youth in rural areas at 18.2% incidence rate.