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Dr. Amira Shaheen, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Faculty ‎of Medicine and Health Sciences at An-Najah University has recently ‎obtained the Outstanding OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award from the ‎Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), ‎which makes her the first Palestinian woman to receive this award among ‎five researchers from developing countries.‎


The award acknowledges the scientists' commitment to leading and ‎mentoring young scientists, and to improving lives and livelihoods in ‎their communities and regions, and is presented to women scientists who ‎have performed ground-breaking international-level science, often in ‎circumstances where the deck has been stacked against them.‎

In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Dr. Shaheen is working on improving the health care system response to ‎gender based violence (GBV) in Palestine. She investigates the readiness ‎of the health care system to identify and refer women victims of violence. ‎Her primary goal is to improve identification and referral of victims by ‎health care providers, in order to improve women’s health overall.‎

Dr. Shaheen’s research interests are related to population health, ‎particularly to women’s health, child health, injuries, violence, ‎environmental health, and mental health. Her research has appeared in ‎many leading international journals including the Lancet, the International ‎Journal of Public Health, European Journal of Public Health, JAMA ‎Paediatric, PLoS One, and Archives of Suicide Research. She has ‎successfully supervised several master's students, including many women. ‎She also helps to facilitate the development and advancement of young ‎women in public health research careers as a mentor of young research ‎assistants. She is a member of her university’s research ethics committee, ‎and is also an active member of several scientific communities including ‎Child Healthcare Information for All and the International ‎Epidemiological Association. Most recently, Dr. Shaheen, together with ‎collaborators from Brazil, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, was ‎awarded a grant from the British National Institutes of Health Research to ‎enhance identification and referral of GBV cases in reproductive health ‎settings within marginalized Palestinian populations.‎

On this occasion, Dr. Shaheen thanked An-Najah, her family and ‎everyone who contributed to this success and said:" Winning the OWSD-‎Elsevier Foundation Award gives me the courage to continue my research ‎on culturally sensitive issues, in order to improve the health of women ‎and their families. I hope it will motivate young health graduates to enter ‎the field of public health."‎

Congratulating Dr. Shaheen on her achievement, Professor Maher ‎Natsheh, Acting President of An-‎Najah University expressed his pride of ‎the new achievement and wished the University to achieve more academic ‎progress. ‎


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