Spread of endemic disease and global change in an educational project: proposition of relationships developed in a twin partnership

Michela Viale, Elena Ferrero

Abstract


The sudden event of the spread of dengue fever (or break-bone fever) that appeared for the first time in Cape Verde in 2009 revealed that inappropriate management of waste can be considered a major cause of the spread of this disease. Dengue fever is a tropical infectious disease that is caused by the dengue virus. Its vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, found an optimal environment for its life cycle in the context of Cape Verde, with the persistence of water in abandoned waste objects. The connection between the topics of Earth sciences and the spread of this disease is not obvious, but it was explored and illustrated in a school partnership. Activities with pupils and students provided an opportunity to investigate how some global phenomena, like climate change (with an increase in local rainfall and higher temperatures), are related to local events, such as the spread of dengue fever. Preventive strategies are conditioned by the geomorphology of the territory and by the complex relationships that connect the geosphere and the biosphere. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the risk of breaking these delicate balances, and hence activating unexpected consequences. The roles played by both partners linked knowledge about the natural dynamics of our planet with the development of appropriate behavior, thus contributing to the formation of responsible citizenship, to preserve and protect the environment. The partnership encouraged students to develop sustainable management strategies against dengue fever, and consequently against waste, actively involving them at school, at home, and in their community. In this study, we present a case study of the role of a school partnership in a complex problem, such as the spread of dengue fever and environmental pollution.


Keywords


Twin partnership; Dengue fever; Education to sustainability; Global changes; Cape Verde

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-5531

Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X