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Clara Prats and Nura Ahmad rely on mathematical models to improve tuberculosis control in Nigeria

Researchers from the Department of Physics of the Higher School of Agriculture of Barcelona (ESAB), design a pilot plan to improve the diagnosis and control of tuberculosis in the city of Gombe, located northeast of Nigeria. The project has received funding in the last call for aid from the Center for Development Cooperation (CCD) of the UPC.
Clara Prats and Nura Ahmad rely on mathematical models to improve tuberculosis control in Nigeria
World incidence of the Tuberculosis (©WHO 2017)

The objective of the project is to determine what other health issues, in addition to those related to tuberculosis, are important to transmit in an education program aimed at the population (hygiene, food, other infectious ailments, etc.), as well as collaborate with the Gombe University to facilitate the participation of students of this university in the realization of the pilot program. The campaign to be carried out in the selected neighborhood will also be designed and the necessary improvements will be defined in the tuberculosis control database.

The project is coordinated by Clara Prats, researcher of the grup de research group of Computational Biology and Complex Systems (BIOCOM-SC) and professor of the l Department of Physics of the UPC, and has the participation of the Nigerian PhD student at the UPC and professor helping at the University of Gombe, Nura Mohammad Rabiu Ahmad, who has moved this summer to the Nigerian town to follow up on the project. The Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) also participate: the first, offering advice on the epidemiological management of tuberculosis and, the second, participating in the work of simulation related to the epidemiological study. In addition to the financial support of the Development Cooperation Center of the UPC, the project also receives funding from the Caldes Solidaria association. The detailed project has had an impact through the news of the UPC, which has done an interview of the reserachers, and has also gone to the science section of newspapers such as La Vanguardia.

In the near future, researchers want to design and test new local strategies for tuberculosis surveillance and control in European cities with the support of computational models, knowledge that is being extended in other countries, such as Nigeria. The doctoral thesis of researcher Ahmad is part of this project with the objective of applying it, among others, to the study of tuberculosis in African cities.

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