Introduction to Tuberculosis Modeling: Workshop
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, New Delhi, India (8-10 November 2012)
Before scaling-up interventions for TB control, it is important to have an understanding of their likely long-term impact on population health. Mathematical models are important tools for projecting the likely costs and impact of alternative strategies when complete information is lacking. Models translate existing knowledge and assumptions (e.g., local epidemiology, scale-up strategies, and efficacy of the intervention in the field) into projected outcomes, with estimates of uncertainty. Most existing TB models study pre-specified interventions in either large regions or single locations; customized results for a diversity of local situations are not available. Furthermore, these models cannot be replicated without specific expertise in TB modeling which is often lacking in high TB burden countries. As a result, most decisions regarding scale-up of TB interventions (e.g. new tools) currently occur without the benefit of supporting models.
The aim of this workshop is to build expertise in TB modeling in India and to introduce participants to a user-friendly TB model, so that model results can be more widely used to inform evidence-based decision-making for TB control in India.
This three-day workshop will introduce mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses to participants who are already familiar with TB epidemiology and have a strong quantitative background. On Day 1, we will describe the basic methods of mathematical modeling, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness, and review their use in TB control. On Day 2, we will introduce a mathematical model of TB control that can be adapted to a variety of questions. On Day 3, we will have an interactive problem-solving session whereby participants learn to use the model and obtain technical support in applying it to questions of relevance to India.
Participants will be encouraged to think of such locally-important questions beforehand, and are expected to bring their own laptops for hands-on activities. All software used will be open-source and support will be provided.