This study documents the level, trend, and patterns of infant and child mortality among Palestine Refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip based on comparable data between two Agency-wide studies conducted in 1997 and 2003.
The objectives of the two studies, the baseline and the follow-up, were to estimate infant mortality rate (IMR) and child mortality rate (CMR) and assess the mortality pattern among Palestine refugees using UNRWA maternal and child health services in the five Fields of operation. In the two studies, some factors that might affect infant and child mortality rates such as; parity, mother’s age, mother’s education and sex of child/infant were studied. In addition, in the 2003 study, the causes of child and infant mortality were studied as well.
Data of the follow-up study was collected from March through October 2003. All primary health care facilities, in and outside camps, run by UNRWA in Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank participated in the study. The study included a total of 16,691 women with more than one child, who attended the Agency’s primary health care facilities to register their newborn babies.
The follow-up study has shown that infant and early childhood mortality rates per 1000 live births dropped markedly between 1997 and 2003. The largest drop in all mortality rates was in Lebanon field while in Syria; there was a mild drop in child and infant mortality rates and an increase in neonatal mortality. Agency-wide, there was a drop in early child mortality from 35 to 24.4 per 1000 live births with a drop of 30%. Infant mortality rate dropped from 32 to 22 deaths per 1000 live births, a drop of 31%. Likewise, neonatal mortality dropped from 21 to 15.3 deaths per 1000 live births with a drop of 27.1%. The main causes of infant mortality were almost the same in all Fields namely; prematurely/LBW, congenital malformations and respiratory causes. The main causes of child mortality were accidents, congenital malformations, including congenital heart diseases, and respiratory infections.
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The Cancer Center needs very specialized diagnostic procedures to determine the most effective protocol, currently it is available only in Israel, and Augusta Victoria hospital is expending a large amount on these external testing. The feasibility requires establishment of a specialized diagnostic center, this will include anatomical and clinical pathology, where the cost of this center is around US$ 900,000.
It is worth to mention that Augusta Victoria Hospital, is working in Jerusalem since 54 years ago, the majority of its clients (70%) are the Palestinians refugees.
The hospital started few years ago to concentrate on specialized medical services, it offers services for pediatric and adult dialysis, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), Endoscopy, Geriatrics and since three years ago the hospital established the Chemotherapy Unit for the cancer patients, the hospital offers also surgical Oncology and pediatric hematology -oncology.
In order to overcome the access problems from the West Bank to Jerusalem, the Hospital initiated a program called “Patient Transport”, the aim of this program is to assure the right of patients to access specialized health care. Currently, all pediatric dialysis patients are transported to and from the hospital.
The Italian Cooperation brings back the smile to a Palestinian Child’s family
While during the period 1 – 28 May 2004, there were 58 incident (62hrs) reported on ambulances delay of access, and 24 cases were totally denied to access.
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