Modelling health solutions
Dr Martial Loth Ndeffo Mbah, from Cameroon, graduated from AIMS South Africa in 2005. In 2010, he received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK studying the optimisation of epidemic control under economic constraints. “As a mathematical theoretical biologist, I am interested in combining epidemiological, ecological, behavioural and economic approaches to modelling public health interventions.”
Martial is a researcher in epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health pursuing his work on a variety of infectious diseases, including schistosomiasis and its double interaction with HIV and malaria in Africa. Approximately 25 million people in Africa were living with HIV in 2012, accounting for nearly 70% of the global total. As a result, the epidemic has had widespread social and economic consequences across the continent hampering development and negatively affecting the lives of millions.
“As a mathematical theoretical biologist, I am interested in combining epidemiological, ecological, behavioural and economic approaches to modelling public health interventions”
In his recent ground breaking research, Martial developed a mathematical model to track the interaction between schistosomiasis and HIV and the potential impact of schistosomiasis control for reducing both schistosomiasis and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. He found that community-based interventions – providing universal clean water, sanitation and education, as well as mass administration of the drug Praziquantel to treat schistosomiasisin children, would be a cost-effective way of reducing the two infections in many sub-Saharan African communities. He seeks to use his mathematical modelling skills to provide evidence for positively affecting health policies.
Most recently, Martial was asked to support Liberia’s Ministry of Health in making decisions that will affect the world as it races to halt the spread of Ebola.