Study: Palestinian Family Size in the Palestinian Lands Averages 6.1
Albawaba.com – Ramallah
The size of the Palestinian family in the Palestinian lands has reached an average of 6.1 individuals, 5.7 in the West Bank and 6.9 in the Gaza Strip.
The ratio of families run by women (materfamilias) has approximately reached 8.8 percent: 9.7 percent in the West Bank and 7.0 percent in the Gaza Strip, with a crowding rate in houses reaching 1.99 persons per room.
The study has indicated that 46.9 percent of the Palestinians are below 15, while 3.4 percent are over 65.
These statistics were included in a report released by the Central Statistics Agency on the “Primary Results.” The report’s data were taken from the Health Study for the year 2000, which was carried out in the second quarter of the year on 6204 Palestinian families.
The overall fertility rate in the Palestinian lands reached 5.93 percent during the year 1999. While this rate reached an average of 5.52 percent in the West Bank, it was 6.81 percent in Gaza Strip. The average number of babies delivered by a Palestinian married is 4.54, and the average of survivors among these has been 4.31 children, according to the study.
The results indicate that the mortality rate among infants during the five years preceding the study (1995-1999 reached 25.5 of each 1000 live births in the Palestinian lands. The rate was 24.4 in the West Bank while it reached 27.3 in the Gaza Strip. The mortality rate among children under the age of five for the same period reached 28.7/1000: 27.2 in the West Bank and 31.2 in the Gaza Strip.
The study findings reveal that 93.7 percent of the children of the primary school age attended classes at this stage. And 98.5 percent of the children who joined grade 1 continued their education until grade 5. It has been revealed that the majority of the Palestinian citizens (89.2 percent) whose ages are 15 and over are literate.
The study shows that 96.2 percent of citizens in the Palestinian lands live in dwellings where safe drinking water is available, 94.9 percent in the West Bank Versus 98.6 percent in the Gaza Strip.
Regarding the sewage system, the results indicate that 99.6 percent of the citizens live in houses connected to sewage systems.
Results also show that nutrition levels are normal, as the ratio of children suffering from underweight is 2.5 percent.
However, dwarfism rates have reached 7.5 percent, and emaciation among children of the same age is 1.4 percent.
The ratio of infants under the age of 4 months who are breast-fed reached 28.8 percent in the Palestinian lands. Also, 77.9 percent of infants whose ages are between (6-9) months are breast-fed and given solid or semi solid foods.
The ratio of children whose ages were between 20 – 23 months and who continued their breast-feeding reaches 10.5 percent.
It has also been revealed that the ratio of children (last child) who were weaned before the completion of the first three months of age is 14.0 percent.
Regarding vitamins supplements, the study indicates that 15.5 percent of the children of the age category 6 – 59 months have received vitamin A during the 6 months anteceding the study. Furthermore, 34 percent of these have received the vitamin before that date.
As for the ratio of the children of the age category 6-11 months who received the vitamin during the past 6 months, it has reached 22.2 percent.
The results also shows that 74.7 percent of the children of the age category 12-23 months have received BCG vaccination; 88.5 percent of these have received the third dose of the Triple Vaccine; and 96.8 percent of them received the third dose of Polio Vaccine. These statistics have been obtained from either the children’s health cards or from the mothers of the children who had no such cards.
The study reveals that 6.7 percent of children under the age of five in the Palestinian lands had diarrhea, during the two weeks preceding the study. Regarding the treatment, 20.6 percent of the children who had diarrhea were treated with the dehydration solution (ORS).
It has also been revealed that the ratio of the children who had respiratory system infections reached 17 percent, 15.2 percent in the West Bank, and 19.9 percent in the Gaza Strip.
As for family planning, the study findings show that the current ratio of married women using contraceptives has reached 51.4 percent, 54.3 percent in the West Bank and 46.1 percent in the Gaza Strip.
As for the ratio of women of the age category 15-49 who delivered during the year before the study was carried out and who received health care during pregnancy, it has reached 95.6 percent.
According to the research, 72.1 percent of deliveries during the three years preceding the study had been normal; 16.4 percent needed surgery, 27 percent needed pumping / forceps, and about 8.8 percent of deliveries needed Caesarean sections.
However, only 26.3 percent mothers received health care after giving birth to their last two children, says the study.
The study has also revealed that the ratio of people having health insurance reaches 60.4 percent - 51.8 percent in the West Bank and 75.6 percent in the Gaza Strip. It also shows that the ratio of smokers over 12 years of age reaches 40.7 percent among males and 3.2 percent among females.
2 percent of the respondents said they had diabetes; 2 percent suffering of high blood pressure; 12 percent having heart diseases; while 0.1 percent of the surveyed individuals said that they were suffering of cancer. Furthermore, 0.8 percent of these individuals were suffering of ulcer; 0.7 percent of asthma; and 0.3 percent of epilepsy.
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