Visceral Leishmanias on the Indian Subcontinent: predictions, targets and dynamics.
Prof Graham Medley, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
VL, or kala-azar, is one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTD). In the Indian sub-continent it is targeted for “elimination as a public health problem”. The intervention programme has been on-going since about 2013, and the incidence of diagnosed disease has fallen substantially. The target for the programme was set before it started, and one question continually asked is when it will be achieved. We have developed a statistical model which we use to answer this question. I will explain what is wrong with the model. The next big question is which interventions will reach the target faster. This is a more complex question, since it would appear that none of the interventions are associated with reduced incidence (!). I will talk about potential models and developments which might make predictions better and enable good transmission dynamic modelling. VL is a good example of modelling as an interface between “data” and “policy”.