Relationships between Burning of Solid Wastes and the Development of Clinical Signs of Adverse Health Effects in Biet Fourik and Jabalia Camp, Palestine

Salim Eid El-Abed Ramadan
سالم عيد العبد رمضان
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Al-Quds University
The study of "Relationships between Burning of Solid Wastes and the Development of Clinical Signs of Adverse Health Effects in Beit Fourik and Jabalia Camp, Palestine" was conducted in the year 2009 at Jabalia camp block 3, in Gaza strip and at Beit Fourik town in the West Bank. The study sample was 375 subjects chosen by random systemic selection (every fourth family subject of the study population); about 20% from Jabalia camp and 80% from Beit Fourik which had been divided into four equal areas according to the location from the landfill. The 75 subjects in each group were chosen by random systemic selection. The study aimed at assessing the adverse effects due to the exposure to emitted gases and particulate matters from open burning of solid waste on health status of the surveyed population in the two specific areas. These adverse health effects include carcinogenic, male fertility and sex ratio, congenital anomalies, Diabetes mellitus and respiratory system diseases. A comparative descriptive study was designed and had been used to implement the research and to collect the data, and a self-administered questionnaire (Arabic language) was distributed to all randomly selected population. The response rate was 94.4% (354 persons of 375) and 99.4% (352 of 354) of returned answered questionnaires were properly answered. The SPSS statistical package was used to analyze the collected data. The results revealed that about 3.6% of the surveyed populations have had cancer compared to 0.05% Palestinian average; about 10% had congenital anomalies which is three times higher than that of 3.16 for Egypt. In about 66.7% of those with congenital anomalies the conditions were apparent, while in 33.3% it was invisible. Diabetes mellitus represent about 10.6% of the surveyed population with a mean of age of 41.30 at the time of diagnosis. This percentage is higher than that of the Palestinian average of 9.0%. Respiratory disease was15.2% of the surveyed population; bronchial asthma accounts for 48.0%, chronic bronchitis 46.0% and pulmonary emphysema 6.0% of the respiratory diseases cases. Results for fertility and sex ratio were; family size average of surveyed total population is 6.51 members while in Jabalia camp 7.13 and in Beit Fourik 6.33 compared to Gaza strip average of 6.5 and 5.5 for the West Bank. The results show more female count in area of study, and the sex ratio of males to females is 100.6 to 100.0 compared to that of Palestine (103:100). The closure of all random landfills, prohibition of the open burning of solid waste, encouragement of recycling, reuse, reduction of the solid waste generation and the increase of awareness campaigns are the main recommendations that may help reduce the adverse health effects of the current practices.