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issn:2229-340
1.  DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED ORGAN/SYSTEM CURRICULUM WITH COMMUNITY-ORIENTATION FOR A NEW MEDICAL COLLEGE IN JAZAN, SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Jazan province is located in the south-west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The province is offlicted with a wide spectrum of diseases and therefore have a special need for more health services. The Faculty of Medicine at Jazan has been following the traditional curriculum since its inception in 2001. The traditional curriculum has been criticized because of the students inability to relate what they learned in the basic sciences to medicine, thus stifling their motivation. It was felt that much of what was presented in preclinical courses was irrelevant to what the doctor really needed to know for his practice. The College therefore, decided to change to an integrated curriculum.
Design:
The study was conducted in 2004-2005 in the Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University. It began with a literature survey/search for relevant information and a series of meetings with experts from various institutions. A Curriculum Committee was formed and a set of guiding principles was prepared to help develop the new curriculum. A standard curriculum writing format was adopted for each module. It was decided that an independent evaluation of the new curriculum was to be done by experts in medical education before submission for official approval. There were several difficulties in the course of designing the curriculum, such as: provision of vertical integration, the lack of preparedness of faculty to teach an integrated curriculum, and difficulties inherent in setting a truly integrated examination.
Curriculum:
The program designed is for 6 years and in 3 phases; pre-med (year 1), organ/system (years 2 and 3), and clinical clerkship (years 4, 5, and 6). This is to be followed by a year of Internship. The pre-med phase aims at improving the students’ English language and prepare them for the succeeding phases. The organ/ system phase includes the integrated systems and the introductory modules. The curriculum includes elective modules, early clinical training, behavioral sciences, medical ethics, biostatistics, computer practice, and research methods. The curriculum provides active methods of instruction that include: small group discussion/ tutorials, problem-based learning (PBL), case-study/ clinical presentations, seminars, skills practice (clinical skill lab), practical, demonstration, and student independent learning. Methods of evaluating students include continuous and summative assessment.
Conclusion:
The new curriculum adopted by the Jazan Faculty of Medicine is an integrated, organ/ system based, community-oriented, with early clinical skills, elective modules, and innovative methods of instructions.
PMCID: PMC3410155  PMID: 23012158
Community oriented education; Curriculum development/evaluation; Interdisciplinary medical education; Problem-based learning
4.  HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN SAUDI ARABIA: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 
Health services in Saudi Arabia have developed enormously over the last two decades, as evidenced by the availability of health facilities throughout all parts of the vast Kingdom. The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) provides over 60% of these services while the rest are shared among other government agencies and the private sector. A series of development plans in Saudi Arabia have established the infra-structure for the expansion of curative services all over the country. Rapid development in medical education and the training of future Saudi health manpower have also taken place. Future challenges facing the Saudi health system are to be addressed in order to achieve the ambitious goals set by the most recent health development plan. These include the optimum utilization of current health resources with competent health managerial skills, the search for alternative means of financing these services, the maintenance of a balance between curative and preventive services, the expansion of training Saudi health manpower to meet the increasing demand, and the implementation of a comprehensive primary health care program.
PMCID: PMC3439740  PMID: 23008647
Health system; health statistics; primary health care; Saudi Arabia
5.  EFFECT OF A BREAST CANCER HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM ON THE AWARENESS AND PRACTICE OF JEDDAH FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS 
Objective:
To identify the effect of a school health education program on the knowledge of secondary school girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, of breast cancer and breast self-examination (BSE) and their practice of BSE.
Methodology:
A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was administered to secondary students before the commencement of the health education to assess their knowledge on breast cancer and their practice of BSE. The same questionnaire was handed 6 months later to a smaller group of these students as a post-test. As the post-test group was smaller than the pre-test group, an equal sample size from the pre-test group was drawn for comparison. Random sampling and further analysis was done using the SPSS program, and for the comparison of the two groups, the student t-test and chi square were used.
Results:
The post-test was answered by 1372 students. The sampled re-test group comprised 1400 students (N= 7663) forming a sample of 18.3%. The ages for both groups ranged between 16-25 years (mean = 18.4; SD=1.9). Saudi nationals formed 73.4% of both groups and the proportion of married students was 8.4%. Those who reported that they had relatives with breast mass were 11.2%. The mean knowledge indexes on breast cancer reached 19.7 for the pre-test group and 43.0 for the post-group (t=31.2; p<0.0001). Correct answers for BSE rose significantly among the post-test group. A proportion of 27.2% students from the post-group reported that they had been motivated to practice BSE at least 3 times during the last 6 month.
Conclusion and recommendation:
The outcome of the school health education program on breast cancer had been successful in raising the awareness of secondary school girls and in helping them to practice BSE more. Hence, it is recommended that the programme be implemented in all female secondary schools and colleges.
PMCID: PMC3439736  PMID: 23008611
Breast cancer; breast self-examination; health education; student knowledge
6.  KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DOCTORS AND NURSES IN HYPERTENSION OF PREGNANCY 
Objective:
To assess the status of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of doctors and nurses in Primary Health Care (PHC) centers with regard to hypertension in pregnancy and to identify factors associated with KAP in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology:
Using a self-administered comprehensive questionnaire, all available doctors and nurses in PHC centers of the Al-Khobar area were approached to determine their knowledge, attitude and practice in hypertension during pregnancy. Questionnaires were validated and pilot tested. Each section of the questionnaire was scored and the mean scores calculated. Factors affecting each section were identified by means of multiple regression analysis.
Results:
A total of 36 doctors and 91 nurses were enrolled in the study. Saudis formed 22.2% of the doctors and 47.3% of nurses. Mean years of practice after graduation were 12.6 and 8.7 years for doctors and nurses, respectively. Saudi nurses spend only 3 weeks in the obstetrics ward during the whole period of their internship. All Saudi nurses hold only diplomas and not many courses on the hypertensive disorder are offered to both doctors and nurses after graduation. The practice of doctors particularly in the management of patients after reaching a diagnosis and educating them on diet and salt intake was poor. Furthermore, their knowledge was also poor. Though their level of knowledge was poor, the nurses’ practice was satisfactory, particularly in taking history and physical examination. The attitude of both doctors and nurses towards hypertensive disorders was in general, positive and satisfactory towards health education. Nurses’ nationality and duration of post-internship training were the factors that influenced their attitude and scores on knowledge.
Conclusion and recommendation:
The study revealed that both doctors and nurses working in the PHC lacked training and knowledge in this area of their work. It is therefore necessary to give PHC doctors and nurses refresher courses on common and serious problems like hypertension. A longer period of training in action management is needed to improve the knowledge and practice of doctors and nurses working in antenatal clinics in this area.
PMCID: PMC3437072  PMID: 23008595
Pregnancy hypertension; knowledge and practice; Antenatal care; Primary Health Care
7.  THE PREVALENCE OF CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS AMONG STUDENTS IN JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA 
Objectives:
To determine the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted during 1994 on a sample of students selected from 49 public schools using a multistage stratified random sampling technique. For all students, an interview was conducted and anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were obtained. Fasting glucose and total cholesterol levels on a capillary blood sample were measured using Accutrend for a subsample of students.
Results:
Of the 4042 students selected, 71% were males and the overall mean age was 15.3 ± 2.7 years. After age adjustment, about 23% of the students were found overweight. In addition, 6.4% and 9% of the students were found to have systolic and diastolic hypertension, respectively, with no statistically significant difference between males and females. Among 1432 students, 4% of males and 2% of females had hypercholesterolemia (p=0.06). Hyperglycemia was found in 0.4% of males and 0.6% of females. Among 1834 students in the 9th to 12th grades, 6.9% of males and 0.5% of females were current cigarette smokers.
Conclusions:
Since attitudes and behaviors that influence future health are established during childhood and adolescence, intervention to prevent cardiovascular diseases (in adult life) should take place in childhood and youth to reduce the risk factors and schools have a great role to play in the promotion of good health.
PMCID: PMC3437094  PMID: 23008574
Cardiovascular risk factors; school students; Saudi Arabia
8.  Health Profile of Balhareth area in Taif Region 
Objective:
To describe demographic, socio-economic, environmental factors and general health status of one of the rural and semi-urban areas around Taif city at the western province of the Kingdom.
Methodology:
A cross sectional multipurpose survey for 2 weeks composed of household and school surveys using questionnaires, anthropometric measurements and physical and dental examinations.
Results:
340 houses and 14 schools were surveyed. A higher percentage of young age population was found. Findings indicated a high illiteracy rate especially among females. Environmental status of the area was not optimum with a need for better services. Maternal data indicated a high fertility rate with high rate of unattended deliveries. Breast feeding was a common practice and children pattern of feeding was satisfactory. School survey revealed a lower weight and height compared to NCHS population and a high rate of dental caries.
Conclusion:
The area was not underprivileged and did not show specific endemic disease pattern. Improvements in the areas of sanitation, female education and school dental education is recommended based on the findings.
PMCID: PMC3437143  PMID: 23008547
Rural area; Saudi Arabia; Community Survey; Multipurpose survey

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