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Analysis of Contemporary Public Health Issues in a Chosen Country

Introduction to the chosen country

  1. Demonstrate the following knowledge and understanding

Awareness of the differences in patterns of health and disease around the world and how these have been influenced by historical and geographical factors.

  1. Demonstrate the following skills and abilities effectively make interpretations about trends in global public health issues from reliable sources of health data

What am I required to do in this assignment?

The case study should consist of 5 clearly labelled sections as follows 

  1. Introduction to the case study
  2. The main health issues/challenges in the country
  3. A description of the health system in the country
  4. An assessment of the progress the country has made on a named health-related sustainable development (SDG) goal
  5. An advocacy statement highlighting what the country needs to do to improve its population’s health

Provide a brief introduction to the chosen country for the case study (e.g., country’s population, relevant WHO region it belongs to and other key useful indicators of note such as life expectancy, demography/age structure of the country’s population, maternal mortality rates and GDP and a summary of the country’s main health challenges).

The main health issues/challenges in the country

You must choose 3 contemporary public health issues in the chosen country. The three public health issues must focus on 1 communicable disease, 1 non-communicable disease and 1 health issue that is grouped as an accident/intentional or unintentional injury in that country.  You must address all these three categories effectively.

For each health issue, you must

  1. Describe the scale of the health challenge (e.g., social group that are most affected, mortality rates or DALYs attributable to this issue and any other notable patterns).
  2. identify the main risk factors predisposing affected social groups to this issue and
  3. discuss how the health issue is tackled by the government or another global health body in that country.

This section B must include at least  one relevant illustration of health data (e.g. a chart, table or graph). Data for this section should be based on sound and recent global health data from credible global sources of statistics such as the World Health Organisation, the Institute of Health Metrics data and evaluation website and the ‘Our world in Data’ website. Students may also support discussions from these sources section with relevant peer-reviewed academic sources signposted in the reading list and their own independent study.

A description of the health system in the country

  1. Provide a brief discussion of how the health system is organised at various levels of care and delivers Universal Health coverage to the country’s population
  2. The student must choose and clearly identify one aspect of the WHO building blocks of the country’s health system and write brief points about the following:

Use a relevant graph/Chart/table from a recent and credible source of global health data to describe trends around an indicator related to this building block. The student could also briefly mention issues related to access, coverage, effectiveness, and/or responsiveness of the health system and reasons for the observed implication, if relevant.

For example, if a student chooses to explore data in the last five years that shows that fewer hospital beds are available for chronically ill patients in a country, (number of hospital beds being a health indicator of the service delivery block of the health system), it can be suggested that service users in that country may be faced with long waiting times to be admitted in hospitals and may therefore overburden A&E services etc. It may however be that increased demand for hospitalization is due to an increasingly ageing population in that country etc.

The main health issues/challenges in the country

Discuss any current initiative(s) by the government or other international organisation to support improved outcomes relating to addressing the issues identified around that indicator. For example, is the government of that country planning to build more hospitals?

This section C requires at least one illustration of health data to be included. Points in this section must be supported from evidence from credible sources of global health data as well as relevant peer-reviewed academic sources signposted in the reading list and sources found through independent study.

Assessing the progress the country has made in reaching a named Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs)

In this section, students should describe the progress the country has made towards meeting any one of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). To assess a country’s performance, the student must include relevant graphs or charts on any two targets under the chosen SDG since 2015 to date, to support the discussion for the progress the country has made and describe the trends the data shows.

Students should follow the description by noting any current political, economic and/or social issues in the country that are likely to affect the progress in meeting the SDG targets identified. If relevant, comparisons can be made to similar countries in the same WHO region who have made much better or worse progress on similar targets.

This section D requires that two illustrations of health data  are included. Discussion in this section must be based on sound and recent health from data from credible sources of health data about SGSs, such as the SDG tracker website, the UN website and other credible academic sources.

To conclude the case study, the student is to write a paragraph identifying their own suggestion to the chosen country’s health ministry, in the form of an advocacy statement, about what needs to be done to improve the health of the country’s population based on issues this case study has brought up. The statement must be followed by three actionable goals the student may want the government of that country to address to tackle the burden of disease, to improve the functioning of the health system and to maintain progress in meeting the named SDG goal noted in the case study. Goals should be written as SMART: Specific Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, Time Bound.

The sources of all the attached graph/chart/table must be clearly noted and their relevance to your discussion must be well signposted throughout the case study. The illustration in the case study must be a chart, table, or graph. Pictures and infographics that do not illustrate health data should not be included in submissions. A reference list of all sources used must be included at the end of the case study; including all the weblinks to the illustrations cited in the submission. Referencing must conform to the Harvard referencing system.

What do I need to do to pass?

In order to pass Assessment 1 you will need to:

  1. Identify and describe key health issues in a country
  2. Analyse how the health system in the chosen country functions
  3. Assess the effectiveness of interventions employed to improve health outcomes in the country’s population.

How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

  1. Present your work clearly using the section headings to show how you have addressed the tasks
  2. Address all the tasks set out for the case study
  3. Include and adequately explain the required illustrations of health data
  4. Show a clear idea of interpreting data effectively from global sources of health statistics
  5. As well as credible sources of global health data (including those suggested as compulsory to use within the brief) students are required to include a range of recent and relevant academic journal papers to this submission
  6. Write a convincing advocacy statement
  7. Reference and structure the work properly
  8. Be conversant with the rubric against which the case study will be marked.

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

The lectures and seminars for the first six weeks of teaching will explore topics that will help contribute to the case study assignment. These topics will include exploring the nature of Global Public Health, an introduction to Health Systems, measuring Health Status, understanding the global burden of disease and the World Health Organisation, Regional and National Health Challenges and the SDGs. Each week, for the first six week, offers an assignment support session at each seminar specifically aimed at helping you to complete the case study successfully; including a session on writing an advocacy statement.

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