In sub-Saharan Africa, meningococcal meningitis continues to pose a serious health threat, with sporadic epidemics resulting in some 30,000 cases each year.
Mathematical and simulation modeling plays a growing role in studying the health and financial outcomes of public health policies. Modeling involves the use of mathematical equations and computer simulations to create a prototype of a real system, which can be is as a simple disease spreading in body or as complex as an entire health-delivery system serving patients with different characteristics and different health conditions.
The main goal in modeling studies is to generate evidence about how the system would behave under different specifications without implementing them in real life. As such, modeling can be an effective tool for investigating the performance of health care decisions when the system under study is complex or running experiments to collect data is impossible, unethical or expensive.
HIV/AIDS is a particular focus at Yale where HPM faculty have published widely on the cost-effectiveness of testing, prevention, treatment, and care, both in the United States and around the world. HMP faculty are also using modeling techniques to identify effective and cost-effective approaches to control tuberculosis/HIV co-epidemics and meningitis outbreaks in Africa. Models are also being developed by our faculty to estimate the impact of different interventions on the prevalence of alcohol-exposed pregnancies in the U.S.