Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 41

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 41.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 41.1, 41.2 and 41.3)

Ayele is a 30-year-old farmer who comes to your Health Post with profuse and frequent watery diarrhoea. He has lost a lot of fluid and is very weak, so he finds it difficult to walk. His family informs you that there are several similar cases among adults in their village. What should you do?


Profuse and frequent watery diarrhoea in adults may be an indication of the occurrence of a cholera epidemic. You should report the situation within 30 minutes to the Health Centre. You should verify the existence of similar cases in the community and educate the community on environmental sanitation, such as using a latrine, ensuring a safe water supply for drinking and cooking, and using personal hygiene measures such as hand washing with soap to prevent the transmission of diarrhoeal diseases. Ayele should be started on oral rehydration solution (ORS, see Study Sessions 32 and 33) and transferred to the Health Centre urgently for specialist treatment.

SAQ 41.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 41.1 and 41.3)

Which one of the following health problems is not an immediately reportable disease?

  • a.Polio
  • b.Avian influenza
  • c.Rabies
  • d.Malnutrition
  • e.Neonatal tetanus


d. is the correct answer. Malnutrition is a weekly reportable health problem, not an immediately reportable priority disease. Polio, avian influenza, rabies and neonatal tetanus are all immediately reportable priority diseases.

SAQ 41.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 41.1, 41.2 and 41.3)

Which of the following statements is false? In each case, explain why it is incorrect.

A  IDSR is a type of active surveillance where data on priority diseases is actively collected in the community.

B  IDSR is cost-effective and helpful for integrating data on all reportable diseases at central level.

C  To identify priority diseases in the community, community health workers and member of the community should use standard case definitions.

D  Diseases targeted for eradication should be reported weekly to the higher level.

E  One case of a disease cannot be an indication of an epidemic.


A is false. IDSR is a type of passive surveillance where data for all important diseases are gathered routinely by health institutions.

B is true. IDSR is cost-effective, since the same human resources and formats are used to report all diseases in the community. It also creates an opportunity to integrate data on all important diseases at central level.

C is false. To identify cases in the community, community workers and Health Extension Practitioners should use simplified community case definitions. Standard case definitions are for use in Health Centres and Hospitals.

D is false. Diseases targeted for eradication, such as neonatal tetanus, should be reported immediately.

E is false. A single case of a disease can indicate an epidemic. For example, a single case of cholera or of acute flaccid paralysis may signal an epidemic of cholera or polio.

Summary of Study Session 41

Appendix 41.1  Modified case-based reporting form for immediately reportable diseases