Advertisement

Environmental and Social Determinants of Health in Palestine

  • Yaser Y. IssaEmail author
  • Akram Amro
  • Raghad K. Rajabi
Living reference work entry
  • 19 Downloads

Abstract

Looking after the health of a society and its members is a substantial aspect of the common good. The factors that determine health lie beyond heredity and individual behavior. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the social determinants of health are “The social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems” (WHO SDH Brochure, https://www.who.int/social_determinants/SDH-Brochure). The social conditions in which we live not only influence our sense of well-being but also determine our chances of experiencing illness or death throughout the course of our lives. The Government of Palestine and the WHO are working cooperatively to effectively improve public health.

The determinants of health among Palestinians are much like that in other nations but are characterized by the presence of the long-term Israeli occupation which affects the health of Palestinians directly (by leaving thousands of dead and wounded/disabled citizens) and indirectly (by its effects on other social determinants such as denial of education, poverty, loss of work opportunities, no freedom of movement, inability to build homes, cultivating farm lands, lack of power and clean water, poor access to healthcare services, insecure food resources, etc.).

Despite the ongoing effects of the Israeli occupation, the health status of Palestinians is better than that of many people living in some developing countries, and this situation is largely due to ongoing support from various countries and agencies such as the WHO (World Health Organization), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), WFP (World Food Programme), and others.

The environment in all its components, including people and surroundings, in Palestine has not received much consideration recently, particularly during the initial years of the Israeli occupation. The land, the water, and the natural resources were exploited, and resource uses were not planned to preserve the environment. The ultimate safeguard of Palestine’s environment will be public knowledge, awareness, support, and activism policies. These must be instilled or expanded within the minds of all Palestinians regardless of age, sex, education, income level, place of residence, or professional qualifications. This requires greater cooperation between health and environmental agencies within the West Bank and Gaza in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Keywords

Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) Social determinants Environmental determinants Communicable and noncommunicable diseases Water crisis Israeli occupation 

References

  1. Abdul Rahim HF, Sibai A, Khader Y, Hwalla N, Fadhil I, Alsiyabi H, Husseini A (2014) Non-communicable diseases in the Arab world. Lancet 383(9914):356–367.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62383-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abushaikha L, Saca-Hazboun H (2009) Job satisfaction and burnout among Palestinian nurses. East Mediterr Health J 15:190–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Haq (2016) Facts on the ground. Available at http://www.alhaq.org/publications/publications-index/item/facts-on-the-ground?category_id=10; Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy, The World Bank, 2013
  4. Amnesty International, Troubled Waters: Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water, October 2009Google Scholar
  5. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ) (1994). Dryland Farming in Palestine. Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem Bethlehem, Caritas St., West Bank. Google Scholar
  6. Ashrita Rau, “Malnutrition in Palestine,” Borgen Magazine, May 20, 2015, available at http://www.borgenmagazine.com/malnutrition-palestine/
  7. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016) Australia’s health 2016. Australia’s health series no. 15. Cat. No. AUS 199. AIHW, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  8. Barakat R, Heacock R (2013) Water in Palestine. The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies, Birzeit University, PalestineGoogle Scholar
  9. Batniji R, Rabaia Y, Nguyen-Gillham V, Giacaman R, Sarraj E, Punamaki RL, … Boyce W (2009) Health as human security in the occupied Palestinian territory. Lancet 373(9669):1133–1143.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60110-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bircher J, Kuruvilla S (2014) Defining health by addressing individual, social, and environmental determinants: new opportunities for health care and public health. J Public Health Policy 35(3):363–386.  https://doi.org/10.1057/jphp.2014.19CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Bitar S (2016) Improvements to the Palestinian medical referral system significantly reduce costs: the Palestinian Health Capacity Project. Retrieved from https://www.intrahealth.org/sites/ihweb/files/attachment-files/phcpsuccessstoryaugust2016-final.pdf
  12. Brauch HG (2007) Environment and security in the middle east: conceptualizing environmental, human, water, food, health and gender security. In: Lipchin C et al (eds) Integrated water resources management and security in the middle east. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 121–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burnard P, Edward D, Fothergill A, Hannigan B, Coyle D (2000) Community mental health nurses in Wales: self-reported stressors and coping strategies. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 7:523–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. CSDH (Commission on Social Determinants of Health) (2008) Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final report of the commission on social determinants of health. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  15. Dahlgren G, Whitehead M (1991) Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Background document to WHO – strategy paper for Europe. Institute for Future Studies, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  16. El Sarraj E, Qouta S (2005) The Palestinian experience. In: López-Ibor J, Christodoulou G, Maj M, Sartorius N, Okasha A (eds) Disaster and mental health. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  17. Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia – UNICEF, World Health Organization, The World Bank (2015) Levels and trends in child malnutrition. Midwifery 6.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-6138(96)90067-4
  18. Frieden TR (2010) A framework for public health action: the health impact pyramid. Am J Public Health 100(4):590–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Isaac J (1989). Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development in Palestine. Our Shared Environment. Israel/Palestinian Center for Research and Information. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ).Google Scholar
  20. Isaac J, Selby J (1996) The Palestinian water crisis: status, projections and potential for resolution. Nat Res Forum 20(1):17–26.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-8947.1996.tb00630.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jabr S, Morse M El, Sarraj W, Awidi B. (2013). Mental health in Palestine: country report. Arab J Psychiatry 24:174–178Google Scholar
  22. Malik K. (2014). Sustaining human progress: reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience. In: Human development report 2014. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2014). New York: UNDP. ISBN: 978-92-1-126340-4Google Scholar
  23. Marie M (2015) Resilience of nurses who work in community mental health workplaces in West Bank- Palestine. Ph.D. thesis. Cardiff University. Available at http://orca.cf.ac.uk/73210/
  24. McAuley D, Tomlinson G, Confue P, Isaac S, Bateman L, Burt M (2005) Palestine. Ment Health Pract 8(9):15–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Middle East and North Africa Report on AIDS|2011 (2011). Retrieved from http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/JC2257_UNAIDS-MENA-report-2011_en_1.pdf
  26. Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH). (2013). Health Annual Report Palestine 2013Google Scholar
  27. Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) (2016). Health Annual Report Palestine, 281Google Scholar
  28. Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH). (2017). Health Annual Report Palestine 2017Google Scholar
  29. Okasha A, Karam E, Okasha T (2012) Mental health services in the Arab world. World Psychiatry 11:52–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ministry of Health (Palestine). Palestine Health Status Annual Report 2016. Nablus, Palestine: Ministry of Health (Palestine), 2016.Google Scholar
  31. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and Ministry of Social Affairs, 2011. Press conference report, Disability Survey, 2011. Ramallah – Palestine.Google Scholar
  32. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) (2015) Palestinian multiple indicator cluster survey. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Ramallah-Palestine. Retrieved from http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/Downloads/book2175.pdf
  33. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) (2016). Statistic Palestine 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/Downloads/book2188.pdf
  34. Palestine STEPS Survey 2010–2011. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/chp/steps/Palestine_FactSheet_2010-11.pdf
  35. Rete LA, Larghe AM (1993) Prospects for sustained development of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip report of a meeting of experts, convened by the UNCTAD secretariat, 19–22 May 1992 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva This. 53578(September)Google Scholar
  36. Ross JJ, Ren J f, Land W, Chandrasekaran K, Mintz GS (1990) Transthoracic high frequency (7.5 MHz) echocardiographic assessment of coronary vascular reserve and its relation to left ventricular mass. J Am Coll Cardiol 16(6):1393–1397.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(90)90382-YCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rutter M (1987) Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. Am J Orthopsychiat 57(3):316–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Saca-Hazboun H, Glennon CA (2011) Cultural influences on health care in Palestine. Clin J Oncol Nurs 15:281–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Svalastog AL, Donev D, Jahren Kristoffersen N, Gajović S (2017) Concepts and definitions of health and health-related values in the knowledge landscapes of the digital society. Croat Med J 58(6):431–435.  https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2017.58.431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. UN (2012) United Nations Information System on the question of Palestine (UNISPAL) [Online]. United Nations website. Available at UNISPAL.un.org. Accessed Dec 2012
  41. United Nations Common Country Analysis (UNCCA) (2016) Google Scholar
  42. UNICEF Child Mortality Report 2012 (2012) Level and trends in child mortality. 32Google Scholar
  43. UNRWA (United Nations relief and works agency for Palestine refugees in the near East). Food insecurity in Palestine remains high, June 3, 2014, available at: https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/food-insecurity-palestine-remains-high
  44. WHO EMRO (2010) Health mapping: health facilities database occupied Palestinian territory. Retrieved from http://www.emro.who.int/images/stories/palestine/documents/West_Bank_Health_Facilities_Feb_2010.pdf?ua=1
  45. WHO video (2016) how social factors determine health in GazaGoogle Scholar
  46. Wilkinson R, Marmot M (eds) (2003) Social determinants of health. The solid facts, 2nd edn. WHO, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  47. WORLD Health Organization (who). WHO SDH Brochure, https://www.who.int/social_determinants/SDH-Brochure-May2017.pdf?ua=1
  48. World Health Organization (1946) Preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the international health conference, New York, 19–22 June, 1946. WHO, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  49. World Health Organization (2006) Country cooperation strategy for WHO and the occupied Palestinian territory 2006–2008. World Health Organisation, PalestineGoogle Scholar
  50. World Health Organization (2010) Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS): Egypt country report 2009Google Scholar
  51. World Health Organization (2013) Supporting a decade of action. World Health Organization 2013 Global status on road safety, 1, 318.  https://doi.org/10.1258/jrsm.2010.090426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. World Health Organization (2015) Social determinants of health. WHO, Geneva. Viewed 12 October 2015Google Scholar
  53. World Health Organization (2016) Right to health crossing barriers to access health in the occupied Palestinian territory 2014–2015. WHO library cataloguing in publication data/World Health Organization/Regional Office for the eastern mediterranean. Retrieved from http://applications.emro.who.int/dsaf/EMROPUB_2016_EN_19231.pdf
  54. WHO (2011a) Palestine STEPS survey 2010–2011. Fact Sheet. The WHO STEPS chronic disease risk factor surveillance. WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data/World Health Organization/Regional Office for the Eastern MediterraneanGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Health DepartmentMinistry of Health (MoH), Hebron Public Health DirectorateHebronPalestine
  2. 2.Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health ProfessionsAl-Quds University, Abu Deis-Main CampusJerusalemPalestine
  3. 3.Furat Food IndustryHebronPalestine

Section editors and affiliations

  • Irene Anne Jillson
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashington DCUSA

Personalised recommendations