Short Name: 
KEN 2003 DHS 

The 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2003 KDHS) is a nationally representative sample survey of 8,195 women age 15 to 49 and 3,578 men age 15 to 54 selected from 400 sample points (clusters) throughout Kenya. It is designed to provide data to monitor the population and health situation in Kenya as a follow-up of the 1989, 1993 and 1998 KDHS surveys. The survey utilised a two-stage sample based on the 1999 Population and Housing Census and was designed to produce separate estimates for key indicators for each of the eight provinces in Kenya. Unlike prior KDHS surveys, the 2003 KDHS covered the northern half of Kenya. Data collection took place over a five-month period, from 18 April to 15 September 2003.


The 2003 KDHS is the latest in a series of national level population and health surveys to be carried out in Kenya in the last three decades. The 2003 KDHS is designed to provide data to monitor the population and health situation in Kenya and to be a follow-up to the 1989, 1993, and 1998 KDHS surveys.

The survey obtained detailed information on fertility levels; marriage; sexual activity; fertility preferences; awareness and use of family planning methods; breastfeeding practices; nutritional status of women and young children; childhood and maternal mortality; maternal and child health; and awareness and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. New features of the 2003 KDHS include the collection of information on malaria and the use of mosquito nets, domestic violence, and HIV testing of adults.

More specifically, the objectives of the 2003 KDHS were to:

- At the national and provincial level, provide data that allow the derivation of demographic rates, particularly fertility and childhood mortality rates, which can be used to evaluate the achievements of the current national population policy for sustainable development;

- Measure changes in fertility and contraceptive prevalence use and at the same time study the factors that affect these changes, such as marriage patterns, desire for children, availability of contraception, breastfeeding habits, and important social and economic factors;

- Examine the basic indicators of maternal and child health in Kenya, including nutritional status, use of antenatal and maternity services, treatment of recent episodes of childhood ill­ness, use of immunisation services, use of mosquito nets, and treatment of children and preg­nant women for malaria;

- Describe the patterns of knowledge and behaviour related to the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections;

- Estimate adult and maternal mortality ratios at the national level;

- Ascertain the extent and pattern of domestic violence and female genital cutting in the coun­try;

- Estimate the prevalence of HIV in the country at the national and provincial level and use the data to corroborate the rates from the sentinel surveillance system.

The 2003 KDHS information is intended to provide data to assist policymakers and programme implementers to monitor and evaluate existing programmes and to design new strategies for demographic, social, and health policies in Kenya. The survey also provides data to monitor the country's achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Economic Recovery Strategy objectives.


The 2003 KDHS results present evidence of lower than expected HIV prevalence in the country, stagnation in fertility levels, only a very modest increase in use of family planning methods since 1998, continued increase in infant and under-five mortality rates, and overall decline in indicators of maternal and child health in the country. There is a disparity between knowledge and use of family planning methods. There is also a large disparity between knowledge and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Some of the critical findings from this survey, like the stagnation in fertility rates and the declining trend in maternal and child health, need to be addressed without delay.

An overview of the survey is available here.

Data is available through the Measure DHS website.

First released on: 
1 Jul, 2004 
Last version on: 
1 Jul, 2004 
Stata, SAS, SPSS 
Use Policy: 
May not be distributed to non AGRODEP Network Members. 
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