114. Palestinian National Authority, Ministry of Health. The Status of Health in Palestine: Annual Report 1996, Palestine. Health Research and Planning Directorate, Statistics and Information Department, 1997: 63 pages.

This is the second annual report on the status of health in the areas under Palestinian authority both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The report presents a combination of both determinants of health status of the Palestinian population, as well as a synopsis of recent developments, policies and services in the Palestinian health system for 1996. The report contains an overview of demographic and socioeconomic trends of the population in addition to an outline of the health services available in the areas of maternal and child health, immunization, other preventive and environmental health issues. It also outlines efforts made by the ministry of health to develop human resource, technical, and physical infrastructure, as well as a sketch of current and future plans for developing health policies and strategies, a health information system, and research planning. The report finally summarizes some of the most important determinants of health status such as life expectancy, mortality rates, and morbidity. Some of the rates reported for 1996 are as follows: Life expectancy is 69 years for males and 71 years for females. Infant death rates are 22.7 per thousand in the Gaza Strip and 10.2 per thousand for the West Bank. Most infant deaths were due to respiratory illnesses, congenital malformations, and premature delivery. The four leading causes of death for the 60+ age group were cerebrovascular disease (17.2%), ischemic heart disease (15.3%), senility (14.9%) and malignancy (9%). The leading cause of death among the 20 to 59 age group was malignancy (20.8%). The report acknowledges the fact that to date reliable data on morbidity and life style health behaviors such as smoking, nutrition and physical activity, is lacking due to an inadequate reporting system and a paucity of research.