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Neglected Tropical Diseases


Deirdre Hollingsworth heads the NTD modelling consortium, and research of Neglected Tropical Diseases represents a new and expanding area of research within WIDER.


Human African Trypanosomiasis


Lymphatic Filariasis

Visceral Leishmaniasis

About the NTD modelling consortium

Many urgent policy issues concerning the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) can only be answered through high-quality quantitative modelling.

However, a dearth of modelling in this area prevents donors and policy makers from accessing existing expertise. The NTD Modelling Consortium acts as a point of contact to commission modelling to address the right questions. The Consoritum is also a conduit for the exchange of ideas, insights and questions between modellers and their users.

Various factors motivated the creation of the NTD Modelling Consortium:

Mathematical modelling for infectious diseases and public health works best through collaborations with epidemiologists, policy makers and field experts.Multiple modelling groups working on the same question allows us to investigate model structure uncertainty – the importance of particular underlying assumptions of each model type. The need for structures that connect modellers and users. Designing and parameterising models raises questions about underlying biology, data availability and implementation policy structures. Conversations between these different sectors will help identify the need for studies to address key uncertainties. NTD modelling lags behind modelling for other infectious diseases and it needs to be able to access the huge advances in the broader modelling field. With the right funding framework and the right relationship between modellers and users, new insight into NTDs will be possible.A recruitment problem: many modellers work on NTDs for a short amount of time due to lack of funding and limited impact of publications, again as a result of the small modelling community. We need mechanisms to attract and keep infectious disease modellers in this area.

Funded by:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

WIDER people involved:

Deirdre Hollingsworth

Matt Keeling

Orin Courtenay

Lloyd Chapman

Ron Crump

Louise Dyson

Sarah Jervis

Kat Rock

Joaquin Prada

External collaborators

Steve Torr (LSTM)

Emily Adams (LSTM)

Lisa Reimer (LSTM)