Food emergency in wonderland: a case study prepared by the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the training of relief workers.
This monograph chapter is an exercise whose aim is to help relief workers to be better equipped to solve the practical problems of an emergency relief operation. Its events and contents are imaginary, but are drawn from direct experience. It has been used extensively in Red Cross training projects in several countries, and is designed, 1st, to be complemented with other types of educational media, and 2nd, to be adapted to the training requirements of diverse types of project, through "biasing" in favor of health, nutrition, sanitation, or logistics. A description is given of the management of the case study educational setting, based on real experience with the use of the material; the best results appeared achieveable through a class session on part 1, consisting of initial assessment of an hypothetical nutritional emergency, followed by work in small groups on part 2. Part 1 consists of presentation of situation characteristics, e.g. "overworked health assistant reports a big increase in chest infections, diarrhea, and typhus," and "there is a hand-dug well 1/2 mile from the shelter." Part 2 describes the situation 2 months later, after intervention has begun. Situation characteristics appear such as, "Records from clinic attendance indicates that the commonest disease symptoms are diarrhea, cough with or without temperature, general aches and pains, worms, and eye infections." The case study also includes additional information on food stocks, demographic data, and nutritional survey data (the latter not included in this article). Concluding the article are examples of topics for group discussions and presentations.