The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, and the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance (LPHA) organized the annual conference on the “Health of Palestinians Inside and Outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory". The conference, the ninth in a row, was held on 23-24 March 2018 in Bathish Auditorium, West Hall, AUB.
Around 200 participants from Lebanon, Palestine, the Arab region, and international researchers and experts attended this event that featured several panels and presentations on key health topics and challenges facing Palestinians, including the political determinants of Palestinian health, access of refugees to hospital care in Lebanon, mental health, non-communicable diseases, nutrition and obesity, food security, and political security and health.
Presidents Fadlo Khuri (AUB) and Abdullatif Abu Hijleh (Birzeit University), reaffirmed in their opening statements their commitment to the firm partnership joining AUB and Birzeit University, a partnership that is best manifested by this Association.
The LPHA annual conference is one of many joint activities between the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University and FHS at AUB, constituting two of the oldest Schools of Public Health in the region. Several faculty members from the two institutions are members of the Steering Group of the LPHA. The three coordinators of the conference come from ICPH, FHS and the LPHA.
This is the ninth conference in a series of LPHA annual conferences taking place in the region since 2010, when the LPHA was established following publication of the Lancet special issue on Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 2009. It builds on previous conferences held in different cities in the region over the past 8 years. During these conferences, we were seeing a considerable rise in the number of abstracts submitted to the LPHA conference, and a growing number accepted for poster presentation. Significantly many conference presentations continue their way to publication having benefitted from comments of peer reviewers of abstracts and at presentation. The LPHA conferences are also attracting an increasing number of participants interested in the health and wellbeing of Palestinians.
The LPHA comprises a collaboration of Palestinian, regional and international researchers, committed to the highest scientific standards in describing, analyzing and evaluating the health and health care of Palestinians, in order to contribute to the international scientific literature and to develop local evidence-based policy and practices.
Its main activities include developing measurement and other scientific methods that are culture-specific; increasing capacity for research; encouraging advocacy based on science; and promoting academic collaboration within the occupied Palestinian Territory, across the region, and the globe.