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Global Voices Secondary Activities: Cholera in Haiti

Global Voices Secondary Activities: Cholera in Haiti

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Published by: takepart on Nov 29, 2010
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Global Voices Information Sheet
Cholera Epidemic
Courtesy of www.bbc.co.uk 
Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by the bacterium,
Vibrio cholerae 
, andtransmitted through contaminated supplies of food and drinking water.
An outbreak of cholera can spread quickly in areas with poor sanitation and tainteddrinking water supplies, and usually through the faeces of patients.
Symptoms include severe diarrhea and vomiting, and children and the elderly arevulnerable to dehydration as well. Once a person is infected with cholera, the bacteriacan stay in their faeces for up to two weeks.
Cholera is usually treated with antibiotics, although in severe dehydration cases patientsmay need intravenous fluids.
Cholera in Haiti
Ten months after the earthquake in Haiti, the country is now struggling to recover from anoutbreak of cholera.
Since October, when the disease was first detected, the Haitian government hasconfirmed that more than 15,00 people have died. At the moment, Haiti is facing ashortage of nurses and doctors, and necessary supplies to stem the epidemic.
Nearly 28,000 people have been treated in hospital with cholera symptoms, and theepidemic is spreading twice as fast as had been estimated.
The United Nations has appealed for $164 million in aid to help Haiti combat theoutbreak. In response, the World Bank has announced a grant of $10 million inemergency aid to Haiti.
Key Terms
an organism that is too small to be seen by the unaided eye
a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease that affects a large number ofpeople at the same time
introduction of an infectious organism, such as a bacterium or virus,into food or water, which may then pass to a person
a drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and othermicroorganisms
the process of keeping drinking water, foods, or anything else with whichpeople come into contact, free of microorganisms such as bacteria
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Global Voices Secondary Educator Resources
Themes and Course Connections
Haiti, development, community, solidarity, sustainability, poverty, culture, naturaldisasters, human needs, current events, rehabilitation, and change
Curriculum Connections: Geography, the Arts, Canadian and World Studies, English,Social Sciences and Humanities, Health and Physical Education
Chart paper
Computers and internet
Global Voices column
Specific Expectations and Learning Goals
Students will:
Develop and express appropriate responses to issues and problems.
Reassess their responses to issues on the basis of new information.
Demonstrate appropriate research skills by compiling a range of data from a wide varietyof print and electronic resources.
Participate in active group work and class discussions.
Communicate effectively in written and spoken language or other forms of expression.
Demonstrate the ability to think critically.
Develop, express, and defend a position on an issue and explain how to put the ideasinto action.
Knowledge and Understanding:
1. Introducing Haiti (estimated time: 15 minutes)a. Hang seven sheets of chart paper around the classroom. On each sheet writeone of the following titles: international aid, natural disaster, cholera, poverty,infrastructure, government, development and sustainability.
Note to Educators:
The following activities are designed to stimulate a current events discussion. Generative in nature,these questions can be a launching point for additional assignments or research projects.Teachers are encouraged to adapt these activities to meet the contextual needs of their classroom.In some cases, reading the article with students may be appropriate, coupled with reviewing theinformation sheet to further explore the concepts and contexts being discussed. From here, teacherscan select from the questions provided below. Activities are structured to introduce students to theissues, then allow them to explore and apply their learnings. Extension and conclusion activities areincluded to challenge students and finally, encourage them to reflect on the issues at hand.Since these activities are designed as discussions rather than formal lessons, assessment strategiesare not included.
2 of 4b. Have students collect a writing utensil and rotate through the seven topics. Undereach heading they must write things they know about the topic as well asquestions they may have.c. When they are finished circulating, read the comments aloud, identify commonthemes and clarify any confusion.d. Conduct a brainstorm around how these topics relate to each other.e. Explain that all of these topics are key issues plaguing the country of Haiti today.Ask students to address the topics in the context of Haiti, exploring theirbackground knowledge on this subject.
1. Read the Global Voices column independently. (estimated time: 15 minutes)a. Reflection:i. Ask students to record point form notes in response to the article.ii. Ask students to record 5 questions that they are unsure of from theirinitial reading of the article.b. Discuss the column as a class, ask:i. What are the main points of the article?ii. What emotions did this article provoke in you?iii. What is the nature of the p
roblem that’s identified?
1. Media Literacy (estimated time: 15 minutes)a. Ask students to practice their media literacy skills by working independently toidentify the following:i. Title: include the full title of the article (also called the headline).ii. Author: give the author's full name; if there is no author given, indicate ifthe article is an editorial or from a foreign news source.iii. Newspaper: the full name of the newspaper from which the article istaken.iv. Date: the day the article appeared in the newspaperv. Subject: the overall topic that the article is describing.vi. Event: what event led to the writing of the article?vii. Main idea: identify what the article is proving or arguing about the issue.Is it trying to convince readers to take a side? If so what opinion is itencouraging?viii. Evidence: list several facts/arguments that support the main idea andhelp to convince the reader or inform them of the issue. Does the authorprovide enough factual material to support his/her ideas?ix. Significance: explain why this issue is important and whom it may affect.x. Point of view: is the article, in your opinion, true, balanced or biased? Aredifferent viewpoints presented? Whose opinion is missing?b. When this is complete, bring the class back together and discuss studentanswers.2. Cholera (estimated time: one hour)a. Ask students to recall a recent event that has put Haiti in the media spotlight.b. Ask students to research the answers to six questions about the choleraoutbreak in Haiti (Teacher Note: Students will require access to the internet forthis activity):i. What is cholera and what are its symptoms?ii. Where in Haiti is the cholera outbreak now and how do health expertsfear it will develop?

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