Ministry of Health, PAHO and University of Costa Rica Analyze Future Applications of Mathematical Modeling of Public Health – PAHO/WHO

Ministry of Health, PAHO and University of Costa Rica Analyze Future Applications of Mathematical Modeling of Public Health – PAHO/WHO
  • In a panel, the results of joint work carried out during the health emergency by Covid-19 are socialized.

The role of inter-institutional collaboration in quantitative research on population health and its determinants was the subject of analysis at an expert meeting of the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization/WHO (PAHO/WHO) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The event was held on April 22nd in the city of Rodrigo Fasio University of California, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, with the participation of professionals, academics and researchers from these institutions.

This meeting allowed to exchange experiences of work done during the pandemic, as well as to discuss possibilities of future cooperation between public institutions and academia in the search for solutions to priority health problems in the country.

In the past two years, the UCR has worked alongside the Department of Health and the Pan American Health Organization-WHO in analyzing the evolution and behavior of Covid-19.

This collaboration was achieved through the use of mathematical, statistical and computational tools by the EpiMec Modeling Team of the Center for Research in Pure and Applied Mathematics (Simba), from UCR. The data obtained was a very important input for decision-making by health authorities.

“The pandemic has made it possible to see the value of inter-institutional work. Interdisciplinary and inter-institutional work allows for the development of more powerful tools that can be used in decision-making, which in turn make it possible to optimize and better distribute the available resources,” commented Dr. Fabio Sanchez Peña, EpiMec Modeling Coordinator Cimpa team.

For her part, Dr. Maria Dolores Pérez, PAHO/WHO Representative in Costa Rica, considered epidemics a “complex phenomenon” with effects in different sectors, and its approach should also be intersectoral.

“In addition to the work that health workers do, we must also acknowledge the work that people do from many other fields, including the exact sciences. The forecast work we did in collaboration with Cimpa was irrefutable evidence,” Dr. Perez said. Arguing that it is possible and necessary to apply science and quantitative research to generate public policies in favor of population health.”

The event was attended by the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas. He was accompanied as models by Dr. Luis Barbosa and Fabio Sanchez, as well as Dr. Paola Vazquez and Eugenia Corrales from the University of California. So are Dr. Gustavo Meri from PAHO/WHO and Dr. Tania Rivas from the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Yuri E. Garcia, researcher and member of the Mathematical Modeling Team at Cimpa said.

As part of future opportunities, Dr. Gustavo Meri, PAHO/WHO advisor on health systems and services in Costa Rica, noted the transformation of the network model into a global pandemic simulator, in addition to integrating economic and simulation variables, as well as health service indicators. “For this we need computational capacity, data and joint ventures with finance and alliances, but we also have confidence in our capabilities and dare to change the future,” he said.

Speakers also noted the importance of using interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary work to address Long COVID-19, as well as other infectious and chronic diseases, but he also emphasized the importance of concerted efforts to address other crises such as climate change and its impact on public health.

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