is the focus of this module?
The purpose of the "Rift Valley Fever" module is to
have students address problems related to the spread of disease.
Students should be able to integrate a complex set of issues that
affect local and world health.
is the compelling problem that students will face in this module?
The problem is to understand the nature and transmission of the
Rift Valley fever virus, a virus that causes the death of large
numbers of livestock in Kenya and in much of sub-Saharan Africa.
Outbreaks of RVF among humans have led epidemiologists to include
RVF virus on the list of emerging viruses like HIV and Ebola that
infect thousands of humans each year.
topics will students encounter as they work through this module?
The students should encounter issues related to mosquito control,
disease control, Public Health Policy and quantitative analysis
using estimation and image processing.
is the role of remote sensing in this module? Once students
understand how RVF is transmitted, they should be able to determine
how remote sensing images can provide information that would be
useful in preventing an outbreak and spread of the virus. Mosquito
breeding areas, called dambos, are greener than other areas and
can be located with remote sensing. Students should apply quantitative
skills to remote sensing data in their approach to this problem.
Checklist--have you thought of everything?
a Working Problem Statement
To help students create a Working Problem Statement (WPS), you may
want to pose some introductory questions such as the following:
1. Where are the dambos
that may flood, and what is an estimate of their total area?
2. What are some common
mosquito control strategies?
3. What method of disease
control would you use to prevent RVF: destroying mosquito breeding
grounds, vaccinating people and animals, or using both of these
4. Is it likely that
an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever will occur outside the African
continent? Why or why not?
5. Can you make an argument
as to why some international organization such as the World Health
Organization or the United Nations should or should not fund a worldwide
The chemical Methoprene is used
to prevent the mosquito larvae from maturing. Students can research
this chemical on the Internet. Whether students recommend Methoprene
spray or vaccination as the better method of controlling RVF may
depend upon their assumptions about the costs of these alternatives.