We believe that the Negev desert region is extremely well positioned for a cutting edge research of the changing climate effects on human health.               

The growing population of the Negev (750,000 citizens) is exposed to diverse sources of outdoor and indoor environmental risks related to human activities (industrial waste, air pollution, water discharges, human waste, consumer products, and the transport of chemicals) together with natural phenomena (solar radiation, heat burden, soil erosion, and desert dust emission and transport).

In addition to air pollution from various industrial sources (anthropogenic or man-made), the Negev area is characterized by the hot climate and frequent exposure to the desert dust. The Negev witnesses several intense dust storms every year as a result of its location within the global dust belt between the Saharan and the Arabian deserts. The usual particulate matter (PM) levels are frequently above the standard value for acceptable air quality. The population of Negev is currently experiencing the hot and dusty conditions that can be the fate of the humanity if the climate change is not halted!


When investigating the subject of environment on human health we are taking advantage of two main factors featuring our hospital.

First, it is the only hospital providing obstetrics care to the population residing to the North of Eilat and Kiryat-Gat in the South, covering the most of the Negev region. This adds a "population-based" feature to all our investigations, and therefore free from selection-bias.

Secondly, the hospital serves two distinct ethnic populations, i.e. Jewish and Bedouin-Arab, characterized by different socio-economic status, household conditions and genetics, implying different exposures and health outcomes, and bringing the heterogeneity to our research.

This set-up enabled a lot of research in the field.