Journal Article

Individual’s daily behaviour and intergenerational mixing in different social contexts of Kenya

Del Fava, E., Adema, I., Kiti, M. C., Poletti, P., Merler, S., Nokes, D. J., Manfredi, P., Melegaro, A.
Scientific Reports, 11:21589, 1–13 (2021)
Open Access


We investigated contact patterns in diverse social contexts in Kenya and the daily behaviours that may play a pivotal role in infection transmission to the most vulnerable leveraging novel data from a 2-day survey on social contacts and time use (TU) from a sample of 1407 individuals (for a total of 2705 person days) from rural, urban formal, and informal settings. We used TU data to build six profiles of daily behaviour based on the main reported activities, i.e., Homestayers (71.1% of person days), Workers (9.3%), Schoolers (7.8%), or locations at increasing distance from home, i.e., Walkers (6.6%), Commuters (4.6%), Travelers (0.6%). In the rural setting, we observed higher daily contact numbers (11.56, SD 0.23) and percentages of intergenerational mixing with older adults (7.5% of contacts reported by those younger than 60 years vs. less than 4% in the urban settings). Overall, intergenerational mixing with older adults was higher for Walkers (7.3% of their reported contacts), Commuters (8.7%), and Homestayers (5.1%) than for Workers (1.5%) or Schoolers (3.6%). These results could be instrumental in defining effective interventions that acknowledge the heterogeneity in social contexts and daily routines, either in Kenya or other demographically and culturally similar sub-Saharan African settings.

Keywords: Kenya, data analysis, data collection, infectious diseases
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.