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Providing for Reflection
Despite a limited level of commitment while working on a module, students can still experience significant learning if they enter into the reflection process. Ideally, reflection occurs at various points during the module; however, reflection done only at the close of a module can be also be a powerful learning experience.

 

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What 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.

What 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.

What 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.

What 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.

Preparation Checklist--have you thought of everything?

Creating 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 methods?

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 prevention program?

Note: 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.

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Grade Level: 7-12

Resources for this module

Teacher to Teacher
Rift Valley Fever Quiz

Rift Valley Background Paper Assignment

 

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Last updated April 28, 2005
   

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