The study evaluating population-level health problems; and their potential solutions. Where the infectious diseases rate increasing in Africa. Hence developing and applying a analytical tools for problems that can not be addressing by the traditional statistical methods.
This kind of modelling is a complex, multidisciplinary field that has flourished over the past 15 to 20 years. But most work has been done by researchers based in Europe and North America; far away from the places where infectious diseases pose the biggest threat. This mismatch can lead to imbalances in the focus of research.
Infectious diseases in Africa
However, by understanding of health issues as well as sophisticated mathematical skills. They must also learn to communicate about their work to policy makers and the public. Worldwide, the main approach to developing these skills follows the traditional model of postgraduate education.
The Clinic consists of two tracks. One targets quantitative scientists; the other, public health workers. In the second week participants collaborate on research projects, working in interdisciplinary groups. Six weeks after the clinic, they must submit group reports on their work. This gives them real-world experience working in international, interdisciplinary teams to produce a research product.
Instruction focuses on identification of infectious disease research questions that can be usefully addressed using mechanistic models and construction of models tailored to these questions. Participants develop written research proposals for their systems of interest.
As there are two problems with this approach. First, it is a slow way to transfer skills, with each expert only able to supervise a few students at a time. Second, it is a very localised process. Meanwhile, diseases such as Ebola, measles and yellow fever continue to spread in areas of the world that lack the expertise to integrate models and data in a way that is useful to inform policy decisions.
However, the traditional approach to capacity development for mathematical modelling, including epidemiologi-cal modelling, involves bringing small groups of specialists from developed countries to teach short courses to groups of African students. That approach can be useful for imparting technical skills.
They also differ from typical workshops by integrating participants from around the world. But, importantly, all clinics have African faculty members who develop and present material. The aim is to make these workshops a true international endeavour, rather than a one-way transfer of knowledge. Another emphasis has been on helping African participants build networks across geographic and disciplinary borders.