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Sustainable Approaches to Infectious Disease Control and Elimination

This 3-week course will give you the scientific insights and systemic approaches needed to improve the sustainability of infectious disease control efforts.

Short Courses

  • Face-to-face

  • Antwerp

5 ECTS Credits

English

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About the course

Rationale

Towards the endgame and beyond: sustainable control and elimination of infectious diseases

While the Covid-19 pandemic and other recent epidemics have drawn global attention to preventing and controlling disease outbreaks, the battle against long-term endemic infectious diseases continues unabated. Malaria, tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are still among the top 10 major infectious diseases globally. Malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS are the “big three” killer diseases; together they account for approximately 2.7 million deaths per year. One-sixth of the world’s population suffer from one or more NTDs, with a collective DALY burden equivalent to each of the “big three”. They all impose significant social and economic burdens, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and poor communities.

Despite decades of control efforts and substantial progress in combatting these major infectious diseases, elimination has so far been elusive. Even when initially successful, many interventions have not proven sustainable over longer periods of time. In some cases progress has stalled, in others diseases re-emerged with dire consequences. Nevertheless, bringing infectious diseases to an end is the ambitious target set for 2030 within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG Target 3.3: End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases), and the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched several roadmaps for their elimination.

In this 3-week course, we will highlight and examine important challenges to the control and elimination of these major infectious diseases, which can range from biological, operational, technical to economic, sociocultural or political in nature. We will discuss sustainable approaches to infectious disease control and elimination, focussing not only on technical and programmatic factors that can influence sustainability, but also on contextual and environmental impacts. Alternative paradigms to current global strategies will also be discussed, with emphasis on systemic approaches to build and maintain more resilient and sustainable health systems and communities to tackle infectious disease threats.

The course is for health professionals and researchers involved in infectious disease prevention, control and elimination from a programme, health system or any other perspective.

The aim of the course is to strengthen the participants’ capacity to improve the impact of infectious disease control and elimination efforts through the development and implementation of sustainable strategies, based on scientific evidence and adapted to a specific context.

The focus is on major infectious diseases (malaria, TB, HIV, and a selection of NTDs -leishmaniasis, leprosy, helminthiases) in resource-constrained settings, with particular attention to vulnerable groups.

ITM has a longstanding track record in research, education and services on prevention and integrated control of malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and NTDs. This will be complemented by the involvement of ITM’s worldwide network of partners and alumni as guest lecturers. The course also builds on the rich exchange of experience between students from many different regions in the world.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the main determinants/risk factors and current control and elimination strategies for  these major infectious diseases (malaria, TB, HIV, selection of NTDs)
  • Identify and assess the gaps, complexities and challenges in current infectious disease control and elimination strategies
  • Analyze control and elimination interventions and policies from a sustainability angle
  • Critically appraise the evidence on sustainable solutions to tackle infectious diseases, and translate knowledge into evidence-informed strategies
  • Contribute to develop sustainable context-specific strategies to the control and elimination of infectious diseases
  • Understand the key concepts of systems thinking in combatting infectious diseases
  • Present arguments to advocate for sustainable solutions in infectious disease elimination efforts to local, national and global actors/stakeholders

Tuition fee

€ 730 EEA / 1900 non-EEA

Course Leader(s)

  • Katja Polman

Course Coordinator(s)

  • Marjan Pirard

Course Administrator(s)

  • Marianne Hilgert

Contact

  • SID@itg.be