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    Assessment of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Lactating Women Visiting Al-Remal Primary Healthcare Clinic in Gaza, Palestine
    (Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research, 2019-09-10) Nassar, Rawan
    Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the mother and infant. Breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding protects against diarrhea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia. It may also have long-term health benefits for the mother and child, such as reducing the risk of obesity in childhood and adolescence. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant receives only breast milk. No other liquids or solids are given – not even water – with the exception of oral rehydration solution or drops/syrups of vitamins, minerals or medicines. The results of the PMS study in 2013 show that exclusive breastfeeding in GS is 55%, meanwhile in WB it is 52.9%, and in the state of Palestine it is 53.9%. The World Health Organization estimates that around 220,000 children could be saved each year with exclusive breastfeeding. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding describes the essential interventions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. In order to survive, grow, and develop properly, infants require the right proportion of nutrients. Breast milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies and contains the right quantities of fat, sugar, water, and protein. These nutrients are major prerequisites to the wellbeing and survival of the baby. When a child is exclusively breastfed, their immune system is strengthened, enabling it to prevent life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea amongst other infections. In fact, reports indicate that newborns who are not breastfed for the first six months of life are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia compared to those who are breastfed exclusively for six months after birth.
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    Assessment of Factors Associated with Obesity among Gaza Secondary Schools’ Female Students in Palestine
    (Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research, 2019-09-10) Al Najjar, Doa
    Globally, obesity has increased among children, adolescents, and adults. At least 2.8 million people die each year worldwide as a result of being overweight or obese; mortality rates have shown to be proportional to the degree of obesity. Younger age groups are affected as demonstrated in nearly one-third of American college students who are overweight or obese. According to the WHO, 30–80% of adults and about 20% of children and adolescents in Europe are overweight. The situation in Asia is better; this is shown in the lower prevalence of obesity in Thailand and China. With obesity becoming an overwhelming global public health issue, there are a multitude of obesity-associated diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers. Although obesity in adolescence is less prominently associated with morbidity, it is nevertheless a strong precursor of obesity and related morbidity in adulthood. Adolescence has been identified as a critical period in the development of overweight/obesity patterns, with the transition to college being another potentially important period of risk for weight increase among young adults. Individual behaviors and environmental factors can contribute to excess caloric intake and inadequate amounts of physical activity. The current high rates of obesity have been attributed to, in part, increased snacking and eating away from home, larger portion sizes, greater exposure to food advertising, limited access to physical activity opportunities, and labor-saving technological advances (Duffey & Popkin, 2011; Piernas & Popkin, 2011; Powell et al., 2011;Sallis &; Glanz, 2009). Childhood and adolescent obesity have increased substantially in the past two decades raising concerns about the physical and psychosocial consequences of childhood obesity. In Palestine, the prevalence of obesity has been increasing for decades for both males and females in all age groups. It is about 18% in adult males and 26% in adult females.
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    Assessment of Quality of Life for Thalassemia Patients in Palestine
    (Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research, 2019-09-10) Ashour, Fareeha
    Thalassemia is the most common hemoglobin disorder in the world; it is a critical issue in the Arab world and Palestine. This pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the disease and its comorbidities on Palestinian patients’ quality of life, their adherence to iron chelators and satisfaction to health services provided to them. A cross-sectional study enrolled 25 patients of thalassemia major and intermedia from different cities in Palestine. These patients were evaluated for their quality of life using short form-36 questionnaire that consists of two domains (physical component summary-PMC, mental component summary- MCS). The overall scores for each item and for each domain were obtained, ranging from 0 to 100. 0-20 reflect poor, 20-40 reflect bad, 40-60 reflect good, 60-80 reflect very good, and 80-100 reflect excellent. In general, the highest score appears for the social functioning (80.5 ± 4.49) and the lowest one was for physical role (52 ± 9.79). The scores of thalassemia major (PCS 70.80 ± 11.84, MCS 66.47±12.91) were higher than thalassemia intermedia (PCS 61.01± 11.83, MCS 63.74± 8.26). Patients who transfused 12 Units/Year (U/Y) (PCS 63.19 ±12.80, MCS 63.78±11.69) acquired lower scores than patients who transfused 12-24 U/Y (PCS 77.32 ±10.62, MCS 73.43 ±9.57). Adherent patients (PCS 69.28±15.19, MCS 71.20 ±11.58) acquired higher scores than non-adherent patients (PCS 60.32 ±12.52, MCS 59.23 ±9.93). Only 56% of patients were adherent to their iron chelators while 44% were non-adherent. Mean value of patient satisfaction was higher in the north (72.5± 14.19) compared to the south (32.14±30.11) of Palestine. There is a huge need to exert more efforts to improve the quality of life (QoL) for thalassemia patients, since thalassemia has an influence on QoL and limits the physical functioning, mental health, vitality, general health and other physical and emotional abilities. Strategies need to be implemented to increase the adherence to iron chelators and patient satisfaction. A follow-up study that includes higher number of patients from different cities in Palestine is needed.
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    Association between Iron Deficiency among School Students Aged 6-12 y and Their Learning Abilities in Rafah and Beit Lahiya Cities in Palestine
    (Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research, 2019-09-10) Khalifa, Amal ; Ghaben, Kafa
    Zinc deficiency is believed to be widespread, especially in low income countries like Palestine. Approximately, 80% of school age children have zinc deficiency. It is reported that micronutrient deficiencies further debilitate health and learning by shunting growth and impairing intellectual development that may significantly reduce learning abilities. The exact burden of zinc deficiency among primary school children and its impacts on learning abilities is not known. Thus, there is an ultimate need to figure out the association between zinc deficiency and impaired intellectual development causing reduced learning abilities. Therefore, this study aims to determine the prevalence of zinc deficiency among primary school children in urban settings in North and South of Gaza Strip, to find an association with learning abilities, and to identify other possible contributing factors. A case-control study will be conducted in which 120 school-aged children will be recruited. Furthermore, they will be divided into a case group of subjects characterized by low zinc serum levels and a control group characterized by normal zinc serum levels. Data on anthropometrics measurements, biochemical analysis of zinc serum levels, and the learning abilities via school exams scores will be collected. All obtained data will be analyzed via SPSS version 22.
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    Cancer and Vitamin B17
    (Al-Quds University, Deanship of Scientific Research, 2019-09-10) Aboud, Mahmoud
    Laetrile, also called amygdalin or vitamin B17, is a popular alternative for cancer treatment. These treatments contain purified amygdalin which is a compound found naturally in the seeds of many fruits. When it is ingested the body breaks down laetrile into three compounds consisting of hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde, and prunasin. Hydrogen cyanide appears to be the primary anticancer ingredient in laetrile. There are four possible theories on how laetrile may fight cancer; two theories state that cancer cells are rich in enzymes that convert laetrile into cyanide. Since cyanide kills cells, this means that cancer cells may break down laetrile and kill the cancerous cells. The third theory suggests that cancer is caused by a deficiency in vitamin B17 (amygdalin). The last theory proposes that hydrogen cyanide, which is made by breaking down laetrile, will make cancer cells more acidic and cause them to die. Some studies were made to determine the effect of Laetrile on cancer. There were two animal studies during which scientists treated a variety of cancers with laetrile alone or combined with an enzyme that helps activate it. In both studies, animals did not show any improvement after being treated with laetrile. In one study, 178 people with cancer were treated with laetrile; however, scientists found that it had no significant effect on cancer. In fact, some people experienced cyanide poisoning. In another other study, six people with cancer were treated with laetrile. Scientists found that laetrile did not help treat cancer, as each individual’s cancer continued to spread. Lastly, a few test-tube studies have shown that laetrile may reduce the occurrence of tumors by suppressing genes that help them spread. However, there’s no evidence that this same effect will occur in living human bodies.