Mathematical Modeling Workshop Builds Capacity to Eradicate Malaria

Practitioners in the field of epidemiology and disease modelling have shared their expertise   at a workshop on mathematical modelling to build capacity of stakeholders in the fight against malaria. The workshop is part of the West Africa Mathematical Modeling Capacity Development (WAMCAD) program and was held in collaboration with the Building Stronger Universities BSU(III) project, with support from the Capacity Development Team at ORID.

Participants were selected from organizations at the center of the national programs instituted to combat malaria and graduate students from UG, GIMPA and the Tamale Technical University.  Other participants were from the Western Region, Upper West and Upper East Regions, working in critical areas of the National Roll back malaria program Malaria Control program.

The workshop was organized from 17th – 19th April 2023, at the West Africa Centre for Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), at the University of Ghana, (UG).

The WAMCAD program in Ghana is led by Professor Yaw Afrane, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Ghana Medical School and is a three-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. WAMCAD is a consortium that seeks to enhance technical capacity development in malaria and NTD modeling through a multi-track training program, targeting multiple career stages from students to faculty as well as malaria control practitioners. The consortium covers English, French and Portuguese –speaking West African countries, namely Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, and Guinea-Bissau.  The goal of this consortium is to train a critical mass of modelling scientists who are retained within the West Africa region. Our partners include: The Northwestern University, PATH, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, WHO and Malaria Consortium.

The WAMCAD project has enrolled ten (10) post-doctoral fellows, seventeen (17) PhD candidates and two (2) master’s students, currently undergoing training in the different West Africa countries.

The Building Stronger Universities (BSU) project is led by Professor George Obeng Adjei, Director, Centre for Tropical Diseases, (CHS) as Coordinator, and is currently in its third phase i.e BSU (III).  The project’s training modules aim to strengthen institutional capacity of participating Universities.

Facilitators of the workshop covered the following topics; Malaria epidemiology in Ghana, Transmission intensity and clinical malaria syndromes, computational modelling, malaria vector biology and ecology.

Participants shared practical experiences of working in Malaria endemic areas in Ghana, citing national intervention programs which had impacted positively to lessen the burn of malaria.

Presentations on insecticide resistance in malaria vectors and interactive exercises on disease modelling, engaged participants in extensive discussions with facilitators on the present and future of malaria modelling in Africa.

Additional training module planned under the WAMCAD project will be significant in empowering scholars with knowledge and expertise to support malaria eradication programs.


                                                                                        group photograph of participants