A workshop on “Major and Neglected Diseases in Africa” was held at the University of Ottawa, May 6-10, 2013. This workshop brought together researchers, experts and students from public health, disease modelling, and medicine who study the effects of diseases in African populations. Participants and speakers came from Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
Africa is a continent that has been and still is being plagued with infectious diseases. Most notably are the current epidemics caused by HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. But there are many other diseases, both treatable and preventable, that also affect African populations. The workshop focused on HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Polio, Neglected Tropical Diseases and surveillance. One day was devoted to each of the “big three” (HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria) and two days to Neglected Tropical Diseases, Polio, surveillance, and a discussion of the effects of disease on children. Each day featured four plenary talks and two discussion sessions. In the discussion sessions, participants identified gaps in our knowledge and discussed the role of mathematical modelling in the particular theme areas. A group of researchers will follow through on these discussions and initiate a new collaborative network.
The objectives of the workshop were:
(a) To combine the expertise of public health officials and researchers in biology and the mathematical sciences in the areas of infectious diseases relevant to Africa;
(b) To encourage and seek participation of African colleagues, to foster collaborations between Canadian and African researchers;
(c) To compare public health policies and experiences, helping all participants develop a better understanding of this difficult yet crucial aspect; and
(d) To train junior researchers, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
The organizers of this workshop were Jane Heffernan (York University) and Julien Arino (University of Manitoba), both affiliated with the Centre for Disease Modelling at York University.
More information regarding the workshop can be found here.
Note added by the editor:
A post on Neglected Tropical Diseases by Robert Smith? is scheduled for publication on the MPE2013 Daily Blog on May 18, 2013.