DIMACS Workshop on Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases in Africa

June 25 - 27, 2007
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Brenda Latka, (Program Chair), DIMACS, latka@dimacs.rutgers.edu
Wayne Getz, UC Berkeley, getz@nature.berkeley.edu
Abba Gumel, University of Manitoba, gumelab@cc.umanitoba.ca
Fritz Hahne, AIMS, fjwh@aims.ac.za
John Hargrove, SACEMA, jhargrove@sun.ac.za
Simon Levin, Princeton University, slevin@eno.princeton.edu
Edward Lungu, University of Botswana, lunguem@mopipi.ub.bw
Fred Roberts, DIMACS, froberts@dimacs.rutgers.edu
Alex Welte, Wits University, awelte@cam.wits.ac.za
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology.

This workshop is jointly organized with African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), and
South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA).

This workshop is jointly sponsored by:

DIMACS, SACEMA, and AIMS will hold a 3-day workshop on mathematical modeling and infectious diseases in Africa. The workshop, to be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on June 25-27, 2007, will bring together scientists and students from the US and Africa. The aim of the workshop is to further research on the modeling of diseases in Africa and identify future research challenges.

Mathematical modeling has provided new insights on important issues such as drug-resistance, rate of spread of infection, epidemic trends, and effects of treatment and vaccination. Yet, for many infectious diseases, and in particular many diseases affecting Africa, we are far from understanding the mechanisms of disease dynamics. The modeling process can lend insight and clarification to data and theories. To get the maximum benefit out of mathematical models, however, one needs to specialize them, test assumptions in specific contexts and populations, gather local data to help define key parameters, etc. The workshop goal is to develop collaborations and communications among US and African senior and junior researchers on these issues, to benefit both sides in their research and the important public health applications of that research.

This workshop will serve as a capstone to an advanced study institute, to be held at AIMS in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 11-22, 2007, to train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from the US and Africa in mathematical epidemiology and the control of emerging and re-emerging diseases. It is expected that those who complete the advanced study institute will be able to participate fully in the workshop.

Workshop Themes

The Design and Evaluation of Cost-effective and Sustainable Strategies for Combating Disease Spread in Africa

Modelers, in conjunction with public health officials from Africa, will share ideas on the design of affordable strategies that can lead to effective control of the key diseases in Africa such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Various modeling paradigms will be discussed, with discussions aimed at determining cost-effective approaches. Talks will address the epidemiology, immunology and evolutionary aspects of the endemic African diseases considered. A major theme will be the specific challenges and opportunities arising from the increasing availability of data from African studies.

Evaluating the Potential Consequences of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases

Presentations and discussions will explore models that allow the determination of cost-effective strategies to combat the spread of deadly diseases using the limited resources available.

Economic Aspects of Disease Epidemiology

Additional pertinent issues such as health economics and the economic aspects of disease burden and the potential of interventions will also feature prominently in this workshop. We will devote part of the workshop to a tutorial on the topic.

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Document last modified on October 26, 2006.