Question 1: Non-Communicable Diseases
“A high NCD burden country: Australia”
Australia is a high-income nation, consisting of over 24 million individuals, where NCDs account for 90% of all deaths. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death at 35% followed by cancer at 29%, respiratory disease at 6%, diabetes at 3%, and finally other NCDs accounting for 17% of the mortality rate. Since 2000, mortality due to CVD and diabetes has decreased; however, incidences of death due to cancer, chronic respiratory and other NCDs has increased. The majority of NCD related deaths occur in individuals over the age of 60, with 86.6% prevalence in males and 90.8% in females. Australia’s high NCD burden can be attributed to behavioural risk factors with, for example, 16.8% of the population smoking daily and 40.3% of the population physically inactive according to WHO guidelines. Although the mean systolic blood pressure and cholesterol is on the decline, there remains a high incidence of these metabolic risk factors, with a 36.4% prevalence of raised blood pressure and 57.4% of raised cholesterol. Body mass index is also rising, with 63.2% of the population overweight and 26.8% obese.” - (Rayner et al, 2017)
The above paragraph is a case study for NCD status in Australia, adapted from “An Introduction to Population-level Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases” written by Rayner et al, 2017. (Note: You don’t need the book for this answer, but it is available at the UON library here: https://oxfordmedicine-com.ezproxy.newcastle.edu.au/view/10.1093/med/9780198791188.001.0001/med-9780198791188Links to an external site.)
Choose ONE of the NCDs mentioned in this paragraph, which is on the rise in your location of choice. Answer the following questions for your chosen NCD in 500 words, using an appropriate referencing style:
a) Identify the risk factors and determinants of your chosen non–communicable disease. How are those risk factors contributing to this rise (in your country’s context)? Provide an evidence-based explanation. (2 marks)
b) List two evidence-based actions/interventions that are suitable to prevent this rise? Justify your choice (2 marks)
c) The World Health Organisation 2018 has recommended intervention plans for each of the NCDs (see the attached document). List and briefly discuss the health system challenges which could be faced by your country of choice if it follows the suggested intervention plans. (3 marks)
Question 2: Global Mental Health
“I’ve often been labelled as a schizophrenic, psychotic, manic- depressive and psychotic depressive person. I don’t really believe in those labels, but there have been times in my life when I went into what can be called a manic episode, and then I went into severe depressions. What I’m doing with my life right now is trying to learn how to control what I call my manic energy. If it can be controlled, directed, and channelled, it could be valuable and very powerful. I would rather learn how to control it, rather than be cured of it”.
This is a self-described emotional state of a person with mental illness.
a) How a person with a mental health issue is usually treated in our society? Write a short report on stigma and mental health (3 marks)
Word limit: 200 words
b) How can society help people with mental illness? List at least four community public health interventions targeting this issue. Use some evidence. (4 marks)
Word limit: 300 words
Question 3: Global environmental health
Recently school students around the world gathered together for an environmental campaign. In March 2019, tens of thousands of young Australian students called school strike and walked out of school to take part in the “School Strike 4 Climate” rally. It was a part of a worldwide movement called #FridaysforFuture. Young students around the world have been claiming that climate change is one of the biggest problems the world is facing at the moment, and this problem is not being addressed quickly and timely manner. They have been demanding world leaders’ attention to take appropriate initiatives to protect the world climate. In Australia, students have presented three demands:
1. Stop the Adani coal mine
2. No new coal, oil and gas projects
3. 100% renewable energy by 2030
Consider the following scenario:
“You are a young environmental health researcher and have been asked to prepare a short report for a journal on a key climate change policy that reflects students' concern for the environment.”
You should address the following questions within the given word limit of 500 words, using an appropriate referencing style:
a) Choose one existing environmental issue related to non-renewable energy resources that can cause serious public health problems in near future (globally or in a location of your choice). Justify your choice using SDG as your point of reference. (3 marks)
b) Is there an existing environmental health policy for your chosen issue (in the location of your choice)? Discuss if the existing policy is enough or if there is a need to modify it to achieve the relevant SDG/s. (2 marks)
c) Write two recommendations that can help in improving the implementation of the existing policy. (2 marks)
Question 4: Emergencies and displacements
According to the UN, the Rohingya's situation is the -world's fastest-growing refugee crisis”, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes in the Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma) for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017. Now, Rohingya refugee camps are the world’s largest refugee camps, in Bangladesh.
The following link below is for a video titled: “Rohingya crisis deepens in Bangladesh”. This video is about the plight of hundreds of thousands of these displaced refugees.
Warning: This video contains some scenes which might be distressing for some students.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkVCfqliCK8Links to an external site.
Reflect on this video and write a short blog-style article (500 words) discussing the impact of this refugee crisis on immediate and long-term health problems, with a special focus on the elderly, women and children. (7 marks)
Note: The answer should be a blog-style article, a personal reflection on the issue. Check this blog to understand how blog-style articles are written: http://www.publichealthnewswire.org/Links to an external site.
Question 5: Climate Change Refugees
Climate change refugees are often the most neglected refugees in the world. This is a topic that needs international recognition. Therefore, educating our graduates about this emerging issue is of utmost importance.
Prepare a detailed fact sheet for MPH students about climate change refugees.
Best fact sheets will be included in next year’s course module along with your name. You can be creative and use images. However, make sure that you are properly referencing all the facts and figures! (7 marks)
Word count – 600 words
Question 6: Biological Hazards
“Biological hazards are organic substances that pose a threat to the health of humans and other living organisms. Biological hazards include pathogenic microorganisms, viruses, toxins (from biological sources), spores, fungi and bio-active substances. Biological hazards can also be considered to include biological vectors or transmitters of disease.
Worldwide, it is estimated that around 320 000 workers die each year from communicable diseases caused by work-related exposures to biological hazards”. - (Driscoll et al. 2005; OSHA 2007)
Choose any two biological hazards from the following list and prepare a detailed fact sheet.
i. Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria and Organisms
ii. Hepatitis C
iii. Indoor Air Quality - Moulds and Fungi
v. Needlestick and Sharps Injuries
vi. Pandemic Influenza (Flu)
vii. Zika Virus
Best fact sheets will be included in next year’s course modules along with your names. Make sure you are properly referencing all the facts and figures! (7 marks)
Word count – 600 words