There will be three writing assignments in the course. Each of them should be written as a policy brief from the students, as the Secretary of Health, to the Minister of Finance (through your own Minister, of course). As you write the brief, you must put yourself or your group into the role of the Secretary.
Each paper should be four pages long, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font. The paper cannot be longer than four pages. A minimum of 5 sources required. Paper must be cited in APA format with intext citations.
The paper should be written in a very clear and very crisp manner, with short sentences, short paragraphs, and as few words as possible.
Each paper needs to be written in a manner that will allow the aide of the Minister of Finance to brief him/her on the contents of the brief in about 3 minutes in a car on the way to some meeting, since that is what often really happens.
Each paper should be written about a country in a different region of the world. The papers should be written on low- or middle-income countries, since they are the focus of the course. This will allow you to use the papers to explore selected health and development issues in a variety of settings in a manner deeper than you will be able to do only in the classroom.
The paper should answer the following questions:
Write the summary and every topic sentence as if it is the only thing that the Minister of Finance is going to read. Your evidence-based story line should include who gets the disease, why they get it, why I should care, and how the problem can be addressed in the fastest and least cost manner. When you make your argument, give information about the relative cost-effectiveness of your proposal with evidence.
The briefing note should follow the above outline, with one exception. It should start with a single paragraph that summarizes for the Minister all of the points you want to make. That summary paragraph would read something like 5-6 sentences single space:
“About AAA people die every year of TB in our country. The incidence of TB is YYY. About UUU people in our country get drug-resistant TB every year and about HHH% of those who are infected with HIV have active TB disease. TB affects largely the urban and rural poor and stems from poverty, general ill health, and the lack of coverage of our health services. TB causes illness for an extended period, stops people from working, causes them to spend large amounts on health, and leads many families into poverty. DOTS is a low cost approach to TB diagnosis and treatment that we are not using sufficiently. We must immediately expand our DOTs program, starting in the north, where the disease burden is highest. We must increase case detection and treatment success rates. We must also pay special attention to the diagnosis and management of drug-resistant TB and to TB/HIV co-infection.”
Each paper must begin with this “one paragraph tells all” summary, written in single line spacing.
Paper 2 – Week 3:
Paper number 2 will summarize, for a country of your choice, the key issues in women’s OR children’s health, who is most affected by them, key risk factors, the links between these issues with social and economic development, and what might be done to enhance the health of women and children in your country in cost-effective ways.
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