September 21, 2021

Martial Ndeffo-Mbah – Modelling Public Health Interventions

Dr. Martial Ndeffo-Mbah, from Cameroon, graduated from AIMS South Africa in 2005. In 2010, he received his PhD in Mathematical Biology from the University of Cambridge, where he studied the optimisation of epidemic control under economic constraints.

Dr. Ndeffo-Mbah went on to accept the position of Research Scientist in Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health and Associate Director of the Yale Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling and Analysis. His research uses epidemiological modelling to improve our understanding of the spread of infectious diseases and to identify and evaluate optimal public health interventions for controlling disease outbreaks. Dr. Ndeffo-Mbah developed a mathematical model to assess the potential impact of controlling schistosomiasis (a disease caused by parasitic worms in tropical and subtropical climates) and the resulting decrease in transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. He found that community-based interventions, including access to clean water and sanitation and mass administration of the drug Praziquantel to treat schistosomiasis in children, would be a highly cost-effective solution for reducing both schistosomiasis and HIV transmission in many sub-Saharan African communities.

Dr. Ndeffo-Mbah was appointed as National Advisor by Liberia’s Ministry of Health in 2014 to help inform the government’s public health interventions to halt the Ebola virus pandemic in Liberia. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Ndeffo-Mbah has published extensively in the epidemiological and economic modelling of a wide range of infectious diseases, including Dengue Fever, Zika Virus, Ebola, leprosy, tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis, influenza, and malaria.

“As a mathematical theoretical biologist, I am interested in combining epidemiological, ecological, behavioural and economic approaches to modelling public health interventions.” Dr. Ndeffo-Mbah, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and AIMS South Africa 2005 Alumnus.