responding to potential emerging infectious disease
– apply the knowledge (especially International Health Regulations) regarding past emerging infectious disease experiences to future government responses and policy making – e.g. use past examples of successes and failures to support your answers.
-References should be included as footnotes.
-Maximum pages per question is identified.
-Don’t answer outside the question, don’t try to guess the disease, only answer the question, you can use graph/charts
-website for International Health Regulations: http://www.who.int/ihr/finalversion9Nov07.pdf
The assignment below :
You are the Minister of Health for the new African Nation of Wakanda. In the past year, Wakanda has joined the United Nations and African Union, and has normalized strong and successful diplomatic and trade relations around the world. Wakanda has opened a large international transit hub (using their own flight technology) and has a newly initiated and thriving eco-travel sub-economy. Wakandans have been excited to share their knowledge, extensive technical expertise and their beautiful country with the world, and the world has responded by placing Wakanda at the top of the many ‘Top Tourist Destination’ lists worldwide.
Within this context, during the past month you have received several troubling notices from some of the most remote areas of Wakanda. It started with several small outbreaks of disease amongst domestic chickens that mimicked Avian Influenza. Initial analysis by avian veterinary experts determined that the birds did not have Avian Influenza nor any other type of influenza. Moreover, yesterday, you received an alarming notification of two tourist deaths during an eco-excursion. The first death occurred after a short, febrile illness. The second, the spouse of the first victim, died 18 hours later.
You immediately sent a team to review the situation and they learn that almost a dozen other tourists from the same travel group have high fevers. Those who are ill are immediately transferred to the Birnin Zana Hospital for sophisticated support. To date, Wakandans do not appear to be impacted. Hearing of the tourist evacuation to the Capital City, news reporters arrive and begin to collect information.
Your concern is that Wakanda may be the epicenter of the emergence of WHO’s so-called ‘Disease X’, a newly identified disease caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.
As Minister of Health, you have many responsibilities and decisions to make – and all must be well-justified. After briefing the President of Wakanda on the above information, she has asked you to generate a formal briefing responding to the following questions, which you will present tomorrow at the Cabinet meeting.
Your responses and recommendations to her questions should be clear and written to a very educated audience (e.g. Cabinet Ministers), although please remember that some Ministers (e.g. Minister of Labor, Minister of Transportation) will not have specific background. Your answers should be concise, use correct nomenclature and describe enough background to justify your proposed recommendations. As with all senior-level briefings, charts and/or graphs can be used to help you illustrate your responses.
Question 1 (2 pages)
Wakanda is a new member of the United Nations and international community. Please brief the Cabinet on the international agreements that Wakanda must follow. Is Wakanda compliant with those international agreements? Why or why not?
Regarding the current situation, what actions, if any, do you recommend the Government of Wakanda take in relation to its responsibilities under international agreements? Why?
Question 2 (2 pages)
What is the Government of Wakanda doing to support and monitor those who have been hospitalized? What is the Government of Wakanda doing alone or in cooperation with others to determine what might be causing this illness, where it came from and how it is spread?
Question 3 (2 pages)
There is already intense pressure for the Government to respond to news reporters who are asking the Government for statements. Considering the newness of Wakanda’s integration into the international community, and its growing eco-tourism sector, what should be the Government’s communications plan over the next 48 hours? The next week? For example, what type of communication(s) should the government release and through what channels?
How will the approach you proposed to share information about an unidentified disease balance open information sharing and strong public health responses with the possibility of spreading alarm across Wakanda and the world?
Question 4 (1 page)
As Wakanda is dealing with a possible Disease X, please nominate which Ministers and/or International Organizations should be involved in determining if and when to impose quarantines, travel restrictions and/or trade restrictions. (2/3 of page)
Propose a preliminary set of three indicators to begin a discussion among the Cabinet Members as to what should be the triggers to initiate local or regional quarantine within Wakanda?
Propose a preliminary set of three indicators to begin discussion among the Cabinet Members as to what should trigger restrictions on (a) international travel and (b) trade?