Consider “Why is the Health Minister reading this report?”, and “What action do I want to see from the Health Minister after he reads this report?”.

Put yourself in the position of a team leader and you are now writing the summary report that will inform the “Health Minister” about the outbreak. The report should educate the Minister with regards to:

  • what is required to identify the culprit
  • manage the situation
  • prevent it in future

Team members should have provided much of the information on the above, but you may still have to research some aspects to get the best mark (see marking guidelines below) and cover the headings that must be used in this report. You must also use the assigned key words under each heading. Consider what you have learned from the different team members. Some of their tasks would make excellent topics for a paragraph e.g., the publicity officer may have provided approaches to limit hysteria arising from the outbreak. How does the Health Minister decide if your report is good? It should help the Health Minister sound like an expert when confronted by the press! The final most important aspect is that there should be no doubt in the minister’s mind as to what resources are required to tackle the outbreak effectively.

It must have the six headings that are listed below. Each of the first five sections must have at least one illustration, this can be either a picture, graph or table. You get extra marks for constructing your own rather than just cutting a pasting from the internet. If you update an existing table, use the description in your figure legend: Updated and adapted from …(citation).


You must include the following headings in bold in your report.

  1. Introduction. Should have a general introduction that sets the scene for the outbreak and is engaging, such that the reader wants to find out more. Should include expected morbidity/mortality (can be general description rather than actual numbers) associated with outbreaks of this type. Students lose marks here when they fail to describe the current outbreak that their group has been working on. It is also important to draw the Health Ministers attention to the implications for community, state and country. Mandatory keywords: morbidity or mortality. Minimum 250 words /10 marks
  2. History. What is the history of this disease agent/disease and how is this made relevant to the current outbreak. Many students fail to give examples of previous outbreaks and the problems previous outbreaks have caused. In Workshop 3 you have looked at how various policies can make a difference to successive outbreaks, what policy changes have occurred over time? mandatory key words: history /10 marks
  3. Microorganisms role in outbreak. A discussion of the microorganism’s role in outbreak. Use the following subheadings to make sure you get the marks for each subsection:  How did it come to be in the source of the outbreak, how does it cause disease, how is it spread, how is it treated, what are the challenges to manage the infection and infection control. Students often lose marks when they don’t put effort into the challenges. Mandatory key words: source, characteristics, cause disease, spread, treatment, infection control, challenges to management /20 marks
  4. Implications/Importance to local / world communities. This section can help you show the minister reading your report why action needs to be taken. Some clues that can help this section follow the previous section where you talked about the challenges. Use what you have learnt by the way previous outbreaks have been responded to and give examples of what lessons have been learnt from previous outbreaks. Mandatory key words: control /10 marks
  5. Methods for control/prevention. What resources will the government need to invest in order to bring this under control and prevent similar outbreaks in future. This follows from the previous section but now you give more details. Create subheading: How is it detected, what laboratory resources are required, do government organizations need to get involved? Are there extra staff that need to be brought in? What are the logistics of providing these extra resources (think how difficult it has been to control Ebola in 2014). Again, giving examples from previous outbreaks will earn you extra marks. This section is worth 20%, of the mark, this is a section that often students lose marks because they don’t give specific examples and use subheadings. Mandatory key words: diagnosis, resources, logistics, public awareness campaign, surveillance /20 marks
  6. Conclusion. Summary of the impact of the outbreak and repeats some of the major points that point to future strategies to reduce likelihood of repeat outbreaks. If the minister is short of time, this may be the second paragraph after the introduction that they read! It should not leave the Health Minister in any doubt about future policy directions and risks. It must be a minimum of 250 words.Mandatory key words: impact, future strategies /10 marks.


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