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Open access

Howaida A. Nounou, Safia M. Ali and Manal A. Shalaby


Background: Childhood disability is a public health con-cern due to their impacts on quality of life and productivity not only for affected children but also for families and populations as a whole. There are at least 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.

Objective: To identify the major biological predictors of disabilities in children, the potential pre-natal, natal, and post-natal risk factors for the disabled children in Riyadh rural areas.

Materials and Methods: A survey of 450 Saudi children, pre-school and school age children, below 20 years was carried out between October 2010 and March 2011 with approval by the Institutional Review Board. The study was conducted from children day care center at Riyadh rural area. Data were collected from the case files by clinical staff.

Results: Children with motor disabilities represented the highest percentage, followed by those having speech, mental, and educational disabilities. The least number of disabilities was the children with auditory deficits. The results of the current study have emphasized certain pre-natal risk factors including extreme ages of marriage, high parity, illiteracy, and consanguineous marriages. Consanguinity, multiparty, and mother childbirth age could be considered as a risk factor for mental (risk ratios (RR) 2.06, 95% CI 1.526-2.7), (RR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.6), (RR 4.7, 95% CI 2.6-8.47) and auditory disabilities (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.7-3.76), (RR 2, 95% CI 1.25-3.19), (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.29-5.2). According to our study caesarian labor and prematurity could be considered as a risk factor for motor disability (RR 2.3, 95% CI 1.7-3.1), (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.46-4.6) while multiparity, very low birth weight, and prematurity were associated with increased risk for speech disabilities (RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.76-1.7), (RR 1.46, 95% CI 0.76-2.76), (RR 7.3, 95% CI 4.9-10.3). In addition, caesarian labor was associated with increased risk for auditory disabilities (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.59-3.49), while multiparity and mother childbirth age were associated with increased risk for visual disabilities (RR 5.6, 95% CI 4.1-8.27), (RR 7.2, 95% CI 4.19-12.3).

Conclusion: Increasing the knowledge about disabilities’ risk factor could reduce the incidence of future disability.

Open access

Howaida A. Nounou, Safia M. Ali, Manal A. Shalaby and Rawan G. Asala


Background: Water is a valuable resource in Saudi Arabia. There are untreated wells scattered throughout villages that are sources of drinking water for some rural residents.

Objectives: The present study was conducted to assess the quality of bottled and tap water as well as water from wells in the rural areas of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Material and Methods: Water samples (n = 300) were randomly collected from bottles, taps, and wells. Bacteriological examination of samples included total and fecal coliforms. Screening was performed using wet mounts, trichrome stain, and a modified Ziehl-Neelsen technique. Total dissolved salts (TDS) were determined using a conductivity meter.

Results: There were no coliforms in samples taken from bottled water, whereas, they were detected in samples taken from tap and well water with percentages of 11%, 30% respectively (p = 0.0001). No fecal coliforms were detected in any of the bottled water samples. However, they were isolated from tap (7%) and well water samples (22%), p = 0.001. Escherichia coli content was found to have the highest percentage distribution compared with other coliforms subtypes in both tap and well water. Parasitological analysis detected only few cysts of Entameba coli in both tap (3%) and well (4%) samples while Giardia lamblia cysts (2%) were only detected in well water. There was a wide variation in concentrations of TDS in the 300 water samples. Chemical analysis of well water showed levels above the maximum limits of Saudi and international recommended standards and guidelines for salinity of drinking water.

Conclusion: Water derived from wells in rural areas of Riyadh showed microbial contamination and high total dissolved solids.