A REPORT ON DISEASE EVALUATION

| May 18, 2015

Your completed assessment should take the form of a structured report (2500 words) that addresses the specific tasks described below. This is an individual assessment task that involves reviewing the relevant literature, applying relevant knowledge from the course and use of critical thinking skills.

Approach

In Table 1 below are four broad disease categories and suggested settings in which to consider their control. After reading through the assessment instructions, you should choose 1 of the 4 disease categories and then select a country that is consistent with the focus setting for that choice.

Table 2: Disease category choices and focus settings for Assessment 3

Option

Disease

Focus setting

1

Diarrhoeal diseases

Low-middle resource setting

2

Pneumonia

High resource setting

3

Vector-borne diseases

Low-middle resource country

4

STIs

High resource setting

Once you have selected a disease category and country setting, you need to complete the following tasks:

1.Briefly describe the epidemiology for the selected disease category in the country, highlighting the most important individual causes, any substantial changes over time and key risk factors (e.g. age etc.)

  1. Describe the current disease control strategies used in your selected country and any identified impacts of these on your chosen disease category – there may be many control strategies, so you will need to prioritise and highlight the key ones, perhaps through a table.
  2. Consider options to improve disease control, with brief descriptions of at least 3 potential new control strategies that could be attempted. These should be plausible in relation to your country setting but not currently used. These can include modifications to currently used strategies (for example, proposals to expand the coverage of existing strategy).
  3. Choose one of these three control strategies and for this strategy only provide a more detailed summary of the intervention, drawing on evidence of effectiveness, acceptability and value for money (e.g. cost effectiveness). It is important that the strategy is clearly defined (e.g. the population targeted through the strategy, the disease control tools involved) and the objectives clearly stated (e.g. to reduce mortality in children less than 5 etc.).
  4. If you were health minister, would you choose to implement this strategy? Argue for your decision, considering the evidence described in task 4, the country context and any potential weaknesses in the strategy.

 

Assessment Criteria

Marks for this assessment task are divided as follows:

A total of 30 (out of 40) marks will be allocated for completion of the 5 tasks described in the approach above. These marks are evenly divided between the 5 tasks (6 marks per task).

In particular we are looking for:

Task 1: A concise description of the existing epidemiology that identifies the major causes of disease burden including key risk factors and any temporal changes in epidemiology. This section should demonstrate the ability to focus on key information based on public health priority.

Task 2: A brief description of disease control activities in relation to the chosen disease category in your setting, that focuses detail on the most significant such activities and indicates any effects of these activities.

Task 3: Descriptions of three new or revised disease control strategies including an outline of how the strategy works, and whether it has implemented elsewhere. Briefly summarise evidence of effectiveness. It is critical that these strategies are plausible in the chosen setting (e.g. consider cost, acceptability before listing strategies).

Task 4: Detailed description of the evidence regarding one of these three strategies, which interpretation in terms of the context (for instance you need to consider if clinical trial results in another setting would transfer to your country context).

Task 5: A concluding section that intelligently discusses implementation challenges associated with the proposed new strategy and that provides a recommendation in favour or against implementation. You may also take a more neutral viewpoint (e.g. need more evidence to make a decision) but regardless of the conclusion, this needs to be sensible, evidence-based decision.

A total of 10 (out of 40) percentage points will be allocated for:

  1. Quality of the research conducted: this relates to the breadth and depth of the literature reviewed (see Guidance below).
  2. Quality and completeness of referencing: all sources should be appropriately and consistently referenced.
  3. Quality of writing and presentation: the report should be well written and presented, in clear and coherent English with a logical structure that should include appropriate use of subheadings, tables and figures.

Guidance

Literature review: In conducting this task, you will need to review a substantial number of articles and reports. Our preference is for peer-reviewed scientific publications but some use of reports from governmental or international agencies (e.g. WHO) is also acceptable. You should include at least 10 such sources in your reference list, with correct in-text referencing (either APA or Vancouver style is acceptable). Distinction-level assessments will typically have 20 or more references.

It is important that you locate the primary source of the cited information and do not rely on published reviews in your report. We also stress that you need to go beyond simply summarising findings from your sources, but show strong evidence of being able to synthesise and evaluate the findings from multiple sources and apply them in the practical context of your chosen setting.

Word count: The total word count for the report is 2500 words excluding references, tables and figures. You can include up to 2 tables and 2 figures as needed. Your word count must be provided on the front page. Moderate use of headings and subheadings is encouraged. There are no words limits for the 5 individual sections but we suggest you aim for a similar word count in each.

 

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