Alcohol Consumption and Hazardous Drinking in Western Kenya: A Household Survey in Maseno Area, Kisumu County

A recent household survey conducted in the Maseno area of Kisumu County, Nyanza Province, Western Kenya, sheds light on the prevalence of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking in the region. The study focused on a subdistrict with a population of 70,805, primarily rural black African residents who predominantly speak Luo, Kiswahili, and English languages. This article presents key findings, highlighting the rates of alcohol consumption and identifying significant risk factors for both current alcohol use and hazardous drinking.

Survey Findings:

The study revealed that the prevalence of current alcohol consumption in the Maseno area is 9.2%, while lifetime alcohol use stands at 10.8%. Hazardous drinking, defined as an AUDIT score greater than 8, was reported by 6.4% of the surveyed population.

Sex Differences:

Men exhibited higher rates of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking compared to women. The prevalence of current alcohol use among men was 13.1%, while it was only 4.8% among women. Similarly, hazardous drinking was reported by 9.5% of men and 2.9% of women.

Socio-Demographic Factors:

The study explored various socio-demographic risk factors associated with alcohol consumption. Results showed that self-employed individuals had a higher likelihood of current alcohol use, with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.8. Men also had a higher risk (adjusted odds ratio of 0.3) of hazardous drinking compared to women. Additionally, people living in larger households (more than six people) were more likely to engage in hazardous drinking, with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.8.

Marital Status:

Single individuals exhibited a higher risk of hazardous drinking, with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.7. However, marital status did not significantly influence current alcohol use.

Education:

Interestingly, individuals with no education had a lower risk of current alcohol use (adjusted odds ratio of 0.5) compared to those with primary education.

Comparison with Other Studies:

When comparing the findings of this survey to other studies conducted in Kenya, the prevalence of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking in the Maseno area appears relatively low. Rates in this rural district were found to be 6.4% for current alcohol use and 10.8% for lifetime alcohol use, which is notably lower than rates reported in other regions of Kenya.

Conclusion:

The household survey in the Maseno area provides valuable insights into alcohol consumption patterns and hazardous drinking prevalence in Western Kenya. While the rates are lower compared to national and urban areas, targeted interventions and awareness campaigns can play a crucial role in promoting responsible alcohol consumption in the region. Understanding the identified risk factors can help in formulating effective strategies to address alcohol-related issues and ensure the well-being of the community.

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