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Title: 14. a. 15 years of cooperation web appendix
Authors: Husseini, Abdullatif
Nijem, Khaldoun
Giacaman, Rita
Kristensen, Petter
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Publisher: ResearchGate
Abstract: After the Oslo Peace Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993, the Norwegian Government decided to finance projects in research and higher education between Norwegian and Palestinian institutions. In 1994, the former Rector of the University of Oslo, Prof Lucy Smith, headed a delegation to all eight Palestinian universities, two in the Gaza Strip and six in the West Bank. The local organiser was Prof Gabi Baramki, Palestinian Council for Higher Education. Dr Ebba Wergeland and Prof Espen Bjertness represented the Faculty of Medicine of University of Oslo. Representatives from the Palestinian universities presented research ideas to be considered for cooperation with University of Oslo. Hebron University presented an occupational health project among shoe factory workers, and the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University presented a nutritional project. Nutritional transition from traditional food based primarily on vegetables and fruits to a more westernised and processed food, combined with decreasing population physical activity, and subsequent increased risk of non-communicable diseases prompted the project. Occupational health and hygiene research has traditionally been under-recognised, even in developed countries. Awareness of health effects due to poor working conditions should be highlighted in a nation of state building. Knowledge, based on research about those health effects, is emphasised as an important component of national health plans, which aim at protecting workers. High unemployment rates, uncertainty about the future, and absence of control due to Israeli occupation contributed to a low focus on the adverse occupational health effects for both workers and employers. The project ideas resulted in a continuous cooperation from 1995 to 2009, between the Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Birzeit University, and Hebron University. For short periods, the cooperation included the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip. During the early 1995 project planning phase, which involved Rita Giacaman, Awni Khatib, Gerd Holmboe-Ottesen, Petter Kristensen, and Espen Bjertness, training of local faculty and researchers at the PhD level was considered important. The first project between Hebron University and University of Oslo supported the training of two PhD candidates from Birzeit University and one from Hebron University. Early in the project cooperation, creation of a centre for Occupational Epidemiology at Hebron University and a centre for Epidemiology at Birzeit University became clear important goals. The research focus mainly dealt with central Public Health and occupational health challenges in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and the training emphasised a fundamental component of public health research, notably epidemiological research methods. Furthermore, the cooperation contributed to the establishment of a Master Programme in Public Health at ICPH which we aim to develop into a Ph.D programme. Finally, the 15 years of cooperation contributed to publication of The Lancet Series in 2009, health in the oPt
Description: Khaldoun,Nijem:Hebron University Rita,Giacaman:Community and Public Health Petter,Kristensen:National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI)
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