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1.  Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of stunting, underweight, and overweight among Palestinian school adolescents (13-15 years) in two major governorates in the West Bank 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:485.
There is little information about height and weight status of Palestinian adolescents. The objective of this paper was to assess the prevalence of stunting, underweight, and overweight/obesity among Palestinian school adolescents (13-15 years) and associated sociodemographic factors in 2 major governorates in the West Bank.
A Cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2005 comprising 1942 students in 65 schools in Ramallah and Hebron governorates. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires from students and parents. Weights and heights were measured. Overweight and obesity were assessed using the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reference and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) criteria. Stunting and underweight were assessed using the 2000 CDC reference.
Overweight/obesity was more prevalent in Ramallah than in Hebron and affected more girls than boys. Using the 2000 CDC reference, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Ramallah among boys was 9.6% and 8.2%, respectively versus 15.6% and 6.0% among girls (P < 0.01). In Hebron, the corresponding figures were 8.5% and 4.9% for boys and 13.5% and 3.4% for girls (P < 0.01). Using the IOTF criteria, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among boys in Ramallah was 13.3% and 5.2%, respectively versus 18.9% and 3.3% for girls. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among boys in Hebron was 10.9% and 2.2%, respectively versus 14.9% and 2.0% for girls. Overweight/obesity was associated with high standard of living (STL) among boys and with the onset of puberty among girls. More boys were underweight than girls, and the prevalence was higher in Hebron (12.9% and 6.0% in boys and girls, respectively (P < 0.01)) than in Ramallah (9.7% and 3.1% in boys and girls, respectively (p < 0.01)). The prevalence of stunting was similar in both governorates, and was higher among boys (9.2% and 9.4% in Ramallah and Hebron, respectively) than among girls (5.9% and 4.2% in Ramallah and Hebron, respectively). Stunting was negatively associated with father's education among boys and with urban residence, medium STL and onset of puberty among girls.
Under- and overnutrition co-exist among Palestinian adolescents, with differences between sexes. Region, residence, STL, and onset of puberty were associated factors.
PMCID: PMC2813238  PMID: 20030822
2.  Cesarean section deliveries in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt): An analysis of the 2006 Palestinian Family Health Survey 
Against the backdrop of a rise in cesarean section deliveries from 6.0% in 1996 to 14.8% in 2006, the objective of this study was to investigate socio-demographic, clinical and service-related factors associated with cesarean sections in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Data from the Palestinian Family Health Survey 2006 were used to examine last births in the 5 years preceding the survey to women aged 15–49 years. Bivariate and multivariate associations between type of delivery (dependent variable) and selected factors were analyzed using logistic regression. Selected maternal outcomes were also investigated with type of delivery as the independent variable.
Cesarean section deliveries were significantly associated with maternal age (35+ years), primiparity, low birth weight and residence area in the West Bank and Gaza. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of cesarean deliveries by sector in the West Bank, but in Gaza, they were significantly more common in the governmental sector.
There is a need for detailed audits of cesarean section deliveries, nationally and at the facility level, in order to avoid unnecessary interventions in the context of high fertility, rising poverty and fragmented health services. Variations by governorate should be studied further for focused interventions.
PMCID: PMC2789246  PMID: 19674810
Cesarean sections; Prevalence; Developing countries; Health systems
3.  Health sector reform in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT): targeting the forest or the trees? 
Health policy and planning  2003;18(1):59-67.
Since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, reform activities have targeted various spheres, including the health sector. Several international aid and UN organizations have been involved, as well as local and international non-governmental organizations, with considerable financial and technical investments. Although important achievements have been made, it is not evident that the quality of care has improved or that the most pressing health needs have been addressed, even before the second Palestinian Uprising that began in September 2000. The crisis of the Israeli re-invasion of Palestinian-controlled towns and villages since April 2002 and the attendant collapse of state structures and services have raised the problems to critical levels. This paper attempts to analyze some of the obstacles that have faced reform efforts. In our assessment, those include: ongoing conflict, frail Palestinian quasi-state structures and institutions, multiple and at times inappropriate donor policies and practices in the health sector, and a policy vacuum characterized by the absence of internal Palestinian debate on the type and direction of reform the country needs to take. In the face of all these considerations, it is important that reform efforts be flexible and consider realistically the political and economic contexts of the health system, rather than focus on mere narrow technical, managerial and financial solutions imported from the outside.
PMCID: PMC1457109  PMID: 12582108
health sector reform; conflict; Occupied Palestinian Territories

Results 1-3 (3)