Global health disparities
A team led by Richard Rheingans, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of environmental and global health, estimated the distributional effects of vaccination programs against rotavirus in 23 low-income countries. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrheal disease in children and is responsible for more than half a million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development plan to expand access to rotavirus vaccines in the poorest countries. Rheingans demonstrated that additional efforts are needed to ensure that such programs reach the poorest of the poor, while maximizing benefits and cost effectiveness. Rheingans and his team developed innovative approaches to visualize and show these distributional effects.
In a project funded by SHARE: Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity, Rheingans’ team is assessing disparities in global access, exposure and health risks related to poor sanitation. The research uses statistical and spatial modeling to show magnitude of disparities, the underlying causes, and the health and economic benefits of targeting sanitation improvements to the poor. The results will inform SHARE’s efforts to redefine how sanitation progress is monitored.
Ira Longini, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biostatistics in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, and colleagues at the Center for Statistics and Quantitative Infectious Diseases are studying the use of forthcoming dengue vaccines for the control and elimination of dengue in targeted geographic area. By analyzing dengue data from sites in Thailand, Colombia and Nicaragua they have developed an agent-based model of dengue transmission to estimate the effectiveness of mass vaccination. The work is conducted in conjunction with the Dengue Vaccine Initiative. Learn more.