Prof. Al-Hindi Participates In USA International Conference

17 - Nov - 2020

 Prof. Adnan Al Hindi, Professor of Medical Parasitology in the Department of Laboratory Medical Sciences at the Islamic University of Gaza, has participated in the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

His participation, through zoom program, was with a scientific paper, entitled " Tracking the epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases Research in Palestine: Challenges and Limitations". The conference included dozens of lectures on diverse topics as the green environment, air and brain pollution, mental health among adults and hundreds of posters and workshops on the topics.

The study aimed at tracing after the epidemiology of parasitic disease research in Palestine with a view to identify the gaps of this area and consequently the challenges and limitations facing this type of research. In his paper, Prof. Al- Hindi tracked publications/studies which conducted in Palestine using the databases (PubMed, Medline) and by referring to a focal group of experts in this field.

Prof. Al-Hindi pointed out the most central challenges and obstacles that stood in the way of conducting research on parasitic diseases. The first factor is the few numbers of experts who are considered professionals in this field, only 3-4 persons are available, and other scientists apply their basic knowledge to conduct research in other areas of parasitology. The second challenge is that many recent PhD holders join local universities as faculty members without prior experience of post-Doctoral phase and therefore need more time to start independent research in this field. The third factor is that this area of research is not a priority in Palestine, with a limited number of parasitic infectious agents affecting certain locations and areas in Palestine. These parasites are: lychman, arched, tapeworm, and thorn irons. In addition, many serious parasitic infections do not exist in Palestine such as schistosomiasis and filariasis.

One more obstacle is that the WHO's Office in Palestine does not consider the issue of parasitic infection a health priority to help Palestinians address this problem. Moreover, the lack of resources such as equipment and chemicals and lack of independent research facilities in this field stand a central dilemma. In addition, there is no national strategy to fund research on parasitic or infectious diseases and there are no full-time research partners; additionally, participation of public associations and NGOs in support of parasitic disease research is poor.

The results of the study revealed that studies of epidemiology of parasitic diseases focus on these diseases' prevalence, diagnostic techniques, association with environment, malnutrition, drinking water, and sewage but so far there are no systematic reviews on this branch of research. Not only that, the study concluded that the search for parasitic diseases in Palestine still needs more attention, funding and support.