This assignment is a longer written piece in which you are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the specific nature of managing communicable disease in the complexities of a humanitarian emergency. You are therefore expected to demonstrate knowledge of communicable disease principles as well as understanding of the context of emergencies. It should be no more than 2500 words excluding references. If the word count exceeds the limit the mark will be decreased by one grade (ie from Distinction to Credit etc).
You are expected to read around the subject, to provide background to the topic, highlight the key issues and examine critically the topic.
The assignment will be expected to demonstrate
– Understanding of a key communicable disease issue
– Recognition of the underlying concepts, frameworks, and literature
– Clear relevance to a well described context
– Innovative and critical thinking
The Rift Valley Fever epidemic of 2007 in the Horn of Africa region has resulted the death of over 4,000* people amongst at least 100,000* reported cases. Being an example of how communicable disease, public health and political/economic vulnerabilities converge resulting a deadly outcome, the public health challenges in containing such deadly disease in a region ravaged by protracted war and political instability for many years is critical.
*This may not necessarily be an accurate data.
a) The dynamics of the disease and its recent epidemic
b) The immediate and broader contextual factors that caused the outbreak.
c) The public health challenges
d) The control measures
e) The expected challenges that your team would likely face in underdeveloped region in politically complex situation
Hints: Poor developing countries have fragile and rudimentary public health facilities which may pose a challenge and your critical consideration of this factor is important. Horn of Africa region comprise of about five countries; Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya. These countries have geopolitical similarities.
For Assignment 2, the following will be the main issues examined:
1. Relevance. Make clear what it is you are addressing and why this is important (15%).
2. Research and use of literature. What is the quality and adequacy of the literature on which the paper is based? Have you drawn upon available theory and insights from others? Do you present underlying concepts clearly? Have you gone beyond the literature made available to you for the course? Are terms and concepts defined and used appropriately? (25%)
3. Analysis and argument. What is the quality of the analytical approaches and methodology used to answer the question? Has the paper included insights and evidence of your own analysis? What is the quality of the creative and analytic thinking? (40%)
4. Referencing: Is the work adequately and competently referenced? (10%)
5. Description and presentation. Is the work well-set out and written in clear and coherent English? (10%)
Adopting a critical approach to your assignments
It is important that you adopt a critical approach to the material that you obtain for assignments, to the required readings, and to other information with which you are presented during the course.
Think about and evaluate the material which you are reading and, which you are presenting in assignments. Attempt to cast aside your assumptions and biases and, attempt to assess the logic and consistency of the material in light of the supporting evidence. Wide reading on a topic facilitates this.
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