Health Status in Palestine – Annual report – Nehad R. Elsakany | Nehad-Elsakany’s MedBlogs | Medindia Health Network

Posted by Nehad-Elsakany on Wed, 19 Jan 2011


Palestinian Population size and structure: (west Bank and Gaza)

The total number of Palestinian people according to the estimation 2009 was 3,935,249 of which 50.8% are males and 49.2% are females.

Age and sex distribution:

Age distribution of the population has important implications for the health status of the population, due to the different health needs, the differential patterns of health care utilization and the different health status among the various age groups.

The below population pyramid shows age and sex distribution of population 41.9 % is under 15 years old. The age group (0-4) years still constitutes the largest proportion (14.8%), while for the ages over 65 years constitutes only 3.1%.

Female Male


Dependency ratio is calculated as the number of persons below fifteen and above sixty-five per 100 person’s aged 15-64 years. For 2009 the dependency ratio for Palestine is 80.5, (75.6for the West Bank, and 89.1 for Gaza Strip). This does not reflect the actual economic dependency because not everybody enrolled in the workforce (15-64years) is actually earning (students, housewives and unemployed).


Population growth:

According to the PCBS figures in 2009, the natural increase of population in Palestine was 2.9% (2.6% in West Bank, 3.3 % in Gaza Strip).



Crude birth rate:

Despite progressive decline over the years, the number of live births per 1000 of population per year is still high compared with other countries. The Crude birth rat (CBR) declined from 42.7\1000 in 1997 to 29.6 \1000 in 2008. The total number of reported births in Palestine 116,594 CBR in West bank was (25.8\1000) whereas in Gaza Strip the average CBR (36.8\1000



Fertility data are based on a family survey that PCBS conducted the total fertility rate in Palestine was 4.6; 4.1 in West Bank and 5.3 in the Gaza Strip. Comparing with fertility rates in the neighboring countries shows that it is higher in Palestine; it was 3.7 in Jordan, 3.1 in Egypt and 2 in Tunis.


Reported Morbidity:

Communicable diseases:

The control of communicable diseases plays a vital role in the achievement of “health for all”, a core principle of WHO policy. The tools needed for this task are available and well known.

The great challenge facing the Mediterranean region today is to determine how best to use these tools and how to mobilize the resources needed to achieve this goal.

Palestine succeeded in prevention of many fatal and disfiguring diseases as schistosomiasis, leprosy, diphtheria, plague, poliomyelitis, rabies, but is still working toward control of other infectious diseases, such as meningococcal meningitis, brucellosis, AIDS/HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diarrhea, pneumonia.

In spite of the successful control of many diseases through health education and vaccination, new diseases have emerged worldwide which have a negative impact on health status.


Vaccine preventable diseases:

Globally, at least 2 million people in all age groups die every year from diseases preventable by vaccines recommended by the WHO. Coverage levels of vaccines are considered one of the best indicators of health system performance and progress towards Millennium Development Goals. The target for the Palestinian health care system is that every child will receive a safe vaccine for each childhood vaccine-preventable disease.

In Palestine, immunization coverage remains high. Based on the reports received from our immunization department, the average coverage rates were more than 99% for all vaccines, which directly impacts on the reduction in the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases.


Poliomyelitis and acute flaccid paralysis:

The Regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a resolution to eliminate poliomyelitis from the region by 2000.

In Palestine this target had been achieved earlier, where the last reported case of polio among Palestinian children was in 1984.

Regarding to AFP, 18 cases were reported in Palestine with incidence rate of 1.1 per 100,000 children ≤ 15 years. Regional distribution showed that 4 cases were reported in Gaza Strip, and 14 cases reported in West Bank. children ≤15 year), Palestine, 2000 – 2009


source: Health Status in Palestine – The Annual Report – Nehad R. Elsakany

Health Status in Palestine – the annual report – Nehad R. Elsakany | Nehad-Elsakany’s MedBlogs | Medindia Health Network.

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