607 Study Guide

607 Module 1

607 Module 2

607 Module 3

607 Module 4






DIM 607 is a course that gives the learners a basic understanding of the important concepts related to Public and Mental Health. With regard to disaster risk management learners should gain sufficient information to be able to understand the biological, community health and socio-economical, psychosocial and mental health implications of disasters and be aware of the role and contribution of a multi-professional team.






• A systemic perspective on disaster risk management in the field of public and mental health

• Definitions

• Introduction

   o HIV/AIDS: Disease and denial

   o HIV/AIDS as a man made disaster: The disease and its epidemiology

• Susceptibility

   o Epidemic roots

• Vulnerability and Impact

   o Introduction

   o  Individuals, households (families) and communities

   o Vulnerable groups: Orphans and elderly

   o Rural livelihoods and agriculture

   o Private Sector Impact

   o AIDS and development

   o Government and governance

• Responding to the epidemic




• Introduction to psycho-traumatology:

• Post traumatic stress (PTS)

• Critical incident stress debriefing

• Prevention of traumatic stress among high risk occupational groups


After completion of the 4 modules learners should be able to integrate data and apply knowledge and skills where applicable in the management of disasters. In order to ensure you complete this course within the given time schedule, assignments which should be completed and handed in by the predetermined deadlines will be issued to you. The assignment submitted will be evaluated as part of your module year mark.


It is assumed that from the start, learners will be in possession of, or at least have access to a computer. Learners must be computer literate to some degree. For the interested learner, extra reading matter has been prescribed.


The purpose of this study guide is to serve as a framework to direct learners in the study of the course. The guide will brief learners regarding the various modules by means of references to the following information:

• The outcomes of each module

• Reading matter and resources to be consulted

• Assignments to be handed in




• Introduction to microorganisms

• Pathogenicity of microorganisms

• Epidemiology

• Control of disease

• Introduction to Biological warfare

• Introduction to Veterinary risks





• Epidemiology

• Community assessment: Risk identification

• Emergencies/disasters: Role of the nurse legislation

• Infection control and prevention disease: Handling and management of health risks during disasters and/or conflict:

   ➢ Nutrition

   ➢ communicable diseases

   ➢ water and environmental health






DIM 607 is presented in four themes, which you should be able to complete within a period of 120 hours. Above and beyond the orientation contact at the beginning of the semester there will be one additional contact session during October. It is important to take note that the modules are successive to each other and that no module can be dealt with until the preceding modules have been completed. The assignments should be submitted before the following dates.


Module 1 26 July 2013

Module 2 2 August 2013

Module 3 9 August 2013

Module 4 16 August 2013




After completion of each module, the progress of learners will be assessed by means of an assignment which must be submitted. Assignments should be handed in on the set date. Learners who hand assignments in late, will be penalized by -5% per day up to a week. The assignment marks will count for the module mark. An examination mark will be obtained by a written paper of 3 hours. A final mark will be calculated as follows:


Module mark + Examination mark/4




Assignments      4      40%

Examination      1      60%

Total                       100%


The assignments will constitute 40% of the final mark. There will be a final examination at the end of the year, which will carry 60% of the total marks.


To pass the course a sub-minimum of 40% must be obtained in the examination. To pass the completed course a combined average of at least 50% must be achieved.



Representation of marks of different modules will be as follows:


Module 1    25%

Module 2    25%

Module 3    25%

Module 4    25%




DIM 607



1. AIM


After completion of this module learners should be able to know, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate the socio-economic and psycho-social impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals, families and communities as a man made disaster. They should furthermore have a broad perspective on the interlinkage between prevention, intervention (care and treatment), and postvention and impact mitigation.




On completion of this module learners should be able to define, explain, indicate, outline, discuss and appraise the socio-economic and psycho-social impact of HIV/AIDS as a man-made disaster by means of:


2.1 Recognizing that HIV/AIDS can be defined as a pandemic in the category of man-made disasters, implying that different sectors of society and professionals have a contribution to make.


2.2 Elucidating the concepts of HIV/AIDS and other relevant concepts in the field of public and mental health.


2.3 Describing the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS.


2.4 Outlining the susceptibility of society regarding HIV/AIDS.


2.5 Describing, discussing and evaluating from a systemic perspective the vulnerability and impact of HIV/AIDS on:

• Individuals

• households (families)

• communities

• vulnerable groups (e.g. children)

• rural areas

• private sector

• government

• development


2.6 Distinguishing and discussing the importance of the tasks of the different role players in the field in order to comprehend the necessity of a multi-professional approach.


2.7 Designing measures in the field of HIV/AIDS for the managing of the pandemic.





3.1 Study the socio-economic and psycho-social impact of HIV/AIDS as the first epidemic of globalization by looking at chapter 1 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization.


3.2 Look for statistics about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS: and read chapter 1 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization. Visit www.unaids.org, www.tac.org.za, www.aidsdirectory.co.za and www.aids.org.za for more information regarding statistics on the phenomenon of HIV/AIDS.


3.3 Study chapter 2 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization in order to understand and describe the epidemiology, nature and extent of HIV/AIDS and the interaction between factors contributing to the phenomenon as a pandemic.


3.4 Study chapter 3 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization for “an alternative view to epidemics as having their deepest foundation in normal social and economic life”.


3.5 Study chapters 6 to 12 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization and Addenda A to D for a clear picture of the vulnerability of certain organizations, groups and minorities to and the impact of HIV/AIDS on them.


3.6 Study chapters 6 to 12 AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization and Addenda A to D in order to analyze from a systemic perspective the socio-economic and psycho-social influence of HIV/AIDS on the individual, family, group and community.


3.10 Study chapter 13 of AIDS in the twenty-first century: Disease and globalization for designing preventative measures in the field of HIV/AIDS.





• Compendium of articles from different scientific journals and notes.

• Barnett, T. and Whiteside, A. 2006. AIDS in the Twenty-First Century: Disease and Globalization. 2nd edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.



5.​ASSIGNMENT (Dim607 – 1/4 )


If no assignment is submitted a student will receive an incomplete for the module.


Do one of the following:


5.1 Describe the global distribution of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and comment on factors that have shaped this global pattern

5.2 With the help of the PAR model, write an essay on the vulnerability of any community of your choice to the impact of HIV/AIDS

5.3 Write an essay on AIDS and poverty’s influence on development.

5.4 Write an essay on the impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture with as departure point “agriculture is the cornerstone of human life.”




Attention should at least be paid to headings like:


• Aim of the assignment

• Elucidation of concepts

• Exploration and description of the topic/theme using relevant subheadings

• Evaluative summary


The paper has to consist of at least ten typewritten pages, with text printed in 1.5 line spacing.  A list of sources must be included.


You may use your notes and book as starting point, but you’re also required to consult at least two more sources. A minimum of at least three sources should thus be consulted.




DIM 607



1. AIM


The objective of this module is to equip the learner with knowledge about post-traumatic stress (PTS) as a very serious and debilitating form of human stress. The learner is introduced to the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, the consequences of PTS for the adaptation of survivors and strategies that can be implemented to prevent PTS. The discussion of strategies for coping with trauma and the prevention of PTS will be focused on preventative interventions on community and individual level with specific emphasis on the improvement of personal and contextual coping resources of community members. Attention will also be given to the well being of survivors of trauma through the implementation of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing as well as the prevention of traumatic stress among high-risk occupational groups.


It is important for learners to take in consideration that this module is only an introduction to the field of psychotraumatology.  Students interested in the more in-depth training in the specialized field of psychotraumatology can register for the elective of Trauma Management (DIM 609), which is presented in your second year of training.




On completion of this module, learners should be able to:


2.1​Distinguish between stress, post-traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, burnout and vicarious traumatisation and to explain why survivors of trauma are vulnerable to the development of post-traumatic stress. Describe the signs and symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and specify the impact of PTSD on a person’s daily functioning.


2.2​Develop a training program for personnel involved in rescue work aimed at promoting the resilience and coping skills of community members and individuals, with specific attention to:

• The coping resources that people can utilize during and/or after exposure to traumatic events

• An arsenal of coping skills

• Individual strategies for the prevention of compassion fatigue and for coping with vicarious traumatisation


2.3​Explain the process of the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing of survivors and of debriefers with specific emphasis on:

• The CISD team, defining Post-trauma defusing and mass-disaster CISD

• Mechanisms for debriefing in action

• The precautions that should be considered in the debriefing of crisis/rescue workers

• The dynamics of the debriefing process


2.4​Clarify the role of the organisation (employer) in the prevention and the treatment of vicarious traumatisation/burnout. Specific attention should be given to the following aspects:

• The responsibility of the organisation

• The role of training as a preventative strategy

• The characteristics of an institutional environment that facilitate the well-being of rescue/crisis workers

• Obstacles posed by the hierarchical structure of organisations that interfere with the effective support of crisis/rescue workers.





An introductory lecture will be presented to highlight important aspects and to integrate learning material. Learners must study all the following material:


3.1 ​Read Everly and Lating (1995) p.18-25; James and Gilliland (2001) p.136-144 as well as p.609-642, and Figley (1995) p.150-165, to enable you to complete assignment 4.1. operationalising objective a.


3.2 ​Read Everly and Lating (1995) p.195-205 as well as p. 218-228; James and Gilliland (2001) p. 17-20 and Kleinke, (1998, p.36-55) to equip you with the knowledge to complete assignment 4.2. as practical component of objective b.


3.3 ​Read Everly and Lating (1995) p.267-297; James & Gilliland (2001) p.665-668 and Figley (1995) p.165-175 and then complete assignment 4.3.


3.4 ​Read Figley (1995) p.231-247 to enable you to complete assignment 4.4.





Everly, G.S. & Lating, J.M. (1995). Psychotraumatology: Key papers and core concepts in Post-Traumatic Stress. New York: Plenum Press.


Figley, C.R. (1995). Compassion fatigue: Coping with secondary traumatic stress disorder in those who treat the traumatized. Palo Alto: Brunner/Mazel.


James, R.K. & Gilliland, B.E. (2001). Crisis intervention strategies. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.


Kleinke, C.L. (1998). Coping with life challenges. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.


A selection of chapters is prescribed. For learners who specialize in Trauma Management and Personnel Management within a Disaster management center it is suggested to study the entire book.





5.1 ​Describe how a manager of a Disaster Management Center would assess the mental state of survivors to determine whether they suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Describe the impact on PTSD on the personal functioning of the individual and on his/her occupational functioning (2 A4 folio pages).


5.2 ​You are the manager of a Disaster Management Center. Describe the training program that you would present to the community to help them to increase their resilience and to boost their coping resources to ensure effective coping with trauma. (3 A4 folio pages).


5.3 ​Describe the importance of the debriefing of survivors of traumatic events and indicate what precautions should be considered in the process of debriefing people. Explain the dynamics of the process of debriefing. (3 A4 folio pages).


5.4​ Explain the role of the organization as either an important coping resource or stressor for rescue/crisis workers. Indicate what measures can be implemented in organizations to promote the well being of workers and to improve their ability to resist the stress they are exposed to.

(2 A4 folio pages).



DIM 607



1. AIM


To introduce the student to the different disease causing micro-organisms which can play a role in disasters or which, by their impact on the human or animal  population can be a disaster in their own right. For the student to gain understand of how the different pathogens (disease causing micro-organisms) replicate and spread and how to control these pathogens.




a) Clearly understand the differences between bacteria, viruses and fungi.

b) Understand how each of these groups replicate.

c) Understand the different between normal microbiota, opportunistic pathogens and primary pathogens and what micro-organisms must do to become pathogens.

d) Understand the role of vehicles and vectors in the spread of disease.

e) Understand the different methods used to control pathogens, including the use of antibiotics, vaccines and disinfectants.

f) Understand the impact of microorganisms during a natural disaster.

g) Understand when a pathogen can become a disaster on its own.

h) Understand the important veterinary diseases which can be classed as disasters if these are introduced into the country.





This is a distance learning course. Formal lectures in the subject will not be presented. Basic course notes will be provided as well as suggested additional reading in the form of suggested text books and web pages will be provided. Additional information should be obtained from the web and from published information in the form of scientific journals and current new articles. If new articles are to be used as a source of information, ensure that the information quotes is scientifically valid.





Essential reading:


1) ​Microbiology 4th edition by Prescott, Harley and Klein

Chapters 1 – 4 (Introduction)

Chapters 16 & 18 (Viruses)

Chapters 21 – 24 (Bacteria)

Chapter 25 (Fungi)

Chapter 33 (Antimicrobial chemotherapy)




Biology of Microorganisms by Brock, Madigan, Martinko & Parker, Prentice Hall


​Chapter 1 – An overview of Microbiology and cell biology

​Chapter 3 – Cell Biology

​Chapter 5 – Microbial growth

​Chapter 8 – Viruses (parts 8.1 – 8.6 and 8.14 – 8.23)

​Chapter 11 – Microbial growth control

​Chapter 19 – Host parasite relationships

​Chapter 22 – Epidemiology and Public Health


​2) Web pages :

Suggested reading


Additional web information.


​Introduction to microbiology




Microorganism after a disaster







​Microorganisms as a potential disaster



SARS is the first epidemic of the 21st century and there are huge amounts of web links dealing with this virus. Here are a few.


Details on the latest morbidity and mortality rates in China can be found at















Ebola virus


















Yellow fever












Veterinary diseases














Write a 10 page essay in which you describe the disaster management plan which you will need to put into place if there is another outbreak of SARS.



DIM 607



1. AIM


After the completion of this module learners should comprehend risks and community health with regard to disasters. Learners should be able to apply such knowledge and skills in the management of disasters.




2.1​Epidemiology in community health care


After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• define the term "epidemiology";

• define key concepts often used in epidemiology;

• describe the determinants of disease;

• write short notes on the aims and uses of epidemiology;

• distinguish between morbidity and mortality rates;

• identify the sources of data for epidemiological studies;

• discuss the epidemiological process; and

• Describe “epidemic” risk in emergency situations

• Discuss the nine (9) stages involved in an epidemic investigation.

• Describe “defining of cases”


2.2​Community assessment: Risks and resources


After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• define the term "community assessment";

• explain the differences between geographically bound communities and socially bound communities;

• formulate guidelines on how to do a community assessment;

• explain the importance of a community assessment; and

• describe the community's participation in assessing a community.

• Identify environmental health risks as well as individuals and groups  at risk.

• Compile a checklist for the information needed in an emergency situation

• List technical aspects that should be taken in account when organising an “Initial assessment”

• List the choice of indicators for epidemiological surveillance.



2.3​Disasters in the community


After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• identify the needs of victims of a disaster;

• outline the short- and long-term psychological effects of a disaster on the individual, the children and the health workers;

• identify the basic principles of disaster-preparedness;

• identify the community responses in a disaster situation.


2.4​Infection control and prevention disease: Handling and management of health risks during disasters and/or conflict:




After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• Discuss the basic principles underlying the concepted food access namely:

      Nutritional needs;

      Food resources;

      Factors balancing nutritional needs and food resources;

      Levels of imbalance.

• Describe the four categories of nutritional requirements.

• Define all stages in the food chain.

• Describe various factors that influence food consumption.

• Evaluate the impact of disaster to the food system/chain.

• Illustrate problems in the food chain.

• List indicators for assessing the food chain.

• Name the criteria for choosing one source of supply rather than another.

• Describe five (5) facets of practical organization of a food distribution programme.

• Discuss the surveillance of a food distribution programme.

• Define supplementary feeding.


Water and environmental health


After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• Identify those health problems that have some connection with environmental problems in any given disaster.

• Recognise the need for a sanitation specialist.

• Illustrate the concept of interaction between a population and its environment.

• Describe Quantity and Quality of water.

• Summarise the recommendations for supplying water.

• Classify communicable diseases by their relation to water.

• List the criteria for selecting a water source.

• Name the principal steps for using a natural spring as a source of water supply.

• Describe the link between storage and treatment of water.

• Discuss different methods of improving water quality.

• Name the aspects that must be taken into account when choosing the type of water distribution system.

• List factors influencing water consumption.

• Describe transmission of contamination with regard to human waste.

• Name two (2) aspects of the controlling of the above-mentioned problem.

• Illustrate the choice of a waste disposal system.

• Describe the four (4) stages that must be considered controlling the garbage.

• Name the modes of transmission through flies as vectors.

• Describe the two (2) levels of vector control as primary prevention of communicable diseases.

• List possible housing solutions.

• List the main factors that should be considered in assessing a site.

• Describe the evaluation of water and sanitation programmes.


Communicable diseases


After successful completion of the module learners should be able to:

• Identify the main diseases common in disaster situations.

• Discuss the risk factors associated with disasters.

• Describe the developmental coyote of infect ictus diseases.

• Examine the “tools” most often used in emergency situations.

• Identify the priorities in coping with communicable diseases.

• Describe control measures for the most common communicable diseases in emergency situations.





This is a resource-based course and no lectures will be offered. Basic course notes and suggested additional reading will be provided. The learners from scientific journals and new articles may obtain additional information.





4.1​Compulsory reading


Red Cross International, 2001: War and Public Health, Handbook

Bouwer, M.; Dreyer, M.; Herselman, S; Lock, M; Zeelie, S. 1997. Contempory Trends in Community Nursing. International Thomson Publishing Inc. Halfway House South Africa. Chapter 6

Dreyer, D; Hattingh, S; Lock, M. 1999. Fundamental Aspects of Community Nursing. 2nd edition. Halfway House South Africa: International Thomson Publishing Inc.. Chapter 5 and 6

Zaidy, L., Smal, N. Louis, 1997. Rapid Reference, Infection Control. Pretoria: Kagiso.


4.2​For the more interested


Van Den Berg, R.H. & Viljoen, M. J. 1999. Communicable diseases. A nursing perspective. Cape Town: Mascew Miller Longman.





Work systematically through all the outcomes. Writing a report of 10 pages after completion of the following:


• Do a community assessment of a specific disadvantaged community near you;

• Identify risks with regard to environmental health;

• Identify groups/ individuals at risk;

• List resources related to disaster prevention and management in this specific community.


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eLearning development by Teodora & Dusan SAKULSKI