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Poverty & Disease: What is the link?

Description

Following are a series of activities in which students apply various math skills to better understand the challenges of reducing poverty and fighting disease, and the connections between the two.

Time Required: 1 hour (Add or subtract activities as desired to make a longer or shorter lesson, or each activity could be expanded to become it’s own lesson)

 

Learning Objectives

Students will understand different formats for analyzing and presenting statistical information.
Students will also gain proficiency in the following areas:
- Algebra
- Scientific Notation
- Rate of change
- Graphing / Equation of a line

Teaching Process

Activity 1 – Global poverty
This activity looks at global poverty statistics, the distribution of poverty around the world and progress in reducing global poverty.

Target: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day

Questions for students:

1) How many people around the world live on less than a dollar a day?
2) What percentage is this of the world’s population?
3) Construct a bar graph that shows the percentage of those living on less than a dollar a day on each continent (those living on less than a dollar a day / total population)
4) Now use a pie chart to show the distribution of those living on less than a dollar a day.
5) How do the two charts differ?
6) Choose five countries in the developing world. Has the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day in these countries changed since the MDGs were established? At what rate (% increase/decrease per year) is this proportion changing?
7) At this rate, which of these countries are on track to meet the target described above in 2015? If they will not meet the target in 2015, in what year will they meet the target?
8) Show the answer to questions 6 and 7 above using a graph.
9) (Advanced) Write the equation of the lines shown in your graph.

Websites:
http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=Data/Trends.htm (Stats on extreme poverty)
http://www.netaid.org/global_poverty/global-poverty/ (Data on global poverty)
http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Data.aspx (Country Data from UN Stats)
http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/GMIS/gdmis.do?siteId=2&menuId=LNAV01HOME3
(Country level data from the World Bank)



Activity 2 – Fighting disease

This activity looks at HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, which are the focus of the sixth MDG.

Targets:
- Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
- Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

Questions for students:

1) What diseases are the focus of the Millennium Development Goals?
2) How many people are affected by each of these diseases?
3) What is the estimated economic effect of each of these diseases?

Websites:
http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=Indicators/OfficialList.htm
(Official List of MDG Indicators)
http://www.millenniumcampaign.org/site/pp.asp?c=grKVL2NLE&b=186386
(Millennium Campaign links and data on Goal #6)
http://www.worldbank.org/aidsecon/toolkit/intro.htm (Economic effect of AIDS)
http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/develop/2003/0723costs.htm (Economic effect of AIDS)
http://www.eldis.org/static/DOC6010.htm (Economic effect of malaria)
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/GlobalHealth/Pri_Diseases/Vaccines/

Malaria
4) Until a vaccine can be developed, the fight against malaria must rely on prevention measures that either eradicate the mosquito that transmits the malaria parasite or protect people from being bitten. One of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites is through the use of bed nets that have been treated with insecticide. At what price do you think people in developing countries would be willing to purchase such a net to protect themselves from malaria? (Express this in terms of a percentage of monthly income)
5) What is average income in Malawi?
6) At what price does the organization PSI sell insecticide-treated mosquito nets there?
7) What percentage of monthly income does this represent? Do you think people will pay this price for a mosquito net? Why or why not?

http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Data.aspx (Country Data from UN Stats)
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/ (Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria)
http://www.psi.org/malaria/malaria-resources/MalawiITNProgram.pdf (Info on malaria met program in Malawi)

HIV/AIDS
8) What is the cost of anti-retroviral (ARVs) for the treatment of HIV in the United States?
9) What is the percentage of HIV+ positive people in the US who are on ARVs?
10) What is the cost of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) in Africa?
11) What is the percentage of HIV+ positive people in Africa who are on ARVs?
12) (Advanced) If the percentage of people in Africa on ARVs matched the number in the US, what would be the economic impact on Africa / specific country? (Express in terms of change in Gross Domestic Product)

http://www.avert.org/america.htm (AIDS info for the US)
http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/385FF3E4-19E1-4015-9BCE-2EACE67E9FBB.asp (Cost of ARVs in South Africa)
http://www.avert.org/aidsdrugs.htm (AIDS treatment stats)



Activity 3 – Connection between poverty and disease?

This activity looks at the connection between poverty and disease.

Questions for students:

1) Choose four countries in the developing world and two in the developed world. Gather the following data: human development score, percentage living on less than a dollar a day, incidence of HIV/AIDS, incidence of malaria, incidence of tuberculosis.
2) Make a graph that allows a comparison between indicators for poverty, development, and disease.
3) Are there any connections between poverty, development and disease?
4) Do you think this data is accurate? Why or why not?


Website:
http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Data.aspx (Country Data from UN Stats)
http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/GMIS/gdmis.do?siteId=2&menuId=LNAV01HOME3
(Country level data from the World Bank)




Teaching Notes

Relies on students' abilities to navigate the web to find needed information, either using suggested websites (easier) or not.

 

Site Tools
  • Country Sites
  • Global Issues
Other Tools

Computers with internet access Microsoft Excel or other graph-creating software

Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.