Mathematical Modeling of Indigenous Population Health

[ Français ]
September 28-29, 2013 - BIRS
Seyed Moghadas (York), Michael Li (Alberta), Beate Sanders (PHO), Jianhong Wu (York)

In Canada, the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic disproportionately affected Indigenous populations with severe disease outcomes often necessitating hospitalization and intensive care unit admission. The maintenance of surge capacity for the healthcare was seriously challenged in many several geographic areas, including northern remote communities and First Nation reserves. The reasons for this disproportionate impact are not well understood, but important factors may include the prevalence of pre-disposing health conditions, limited access to healthcare, and environmental and demographic characteristics including the transportation network. Same factors apply to other diseases and hence the inequity issues arise from many other diseases and settings. Understanding the role of these factors in disease spread poses significant challenges and, and at the same time, opportunities for developing appropriate and novel mathematical models, theoretical frameworks and analysis, and technologies in a truly interdisciplinary fashion involving stakeholders, public health policy decision makers, surveillance and health informatics experts, computer scientists, statisticians and mathematicians.

We propose to hold a public health workshop to provide an opportunity for bidirectional knowledge translation of mathematical modelling research outcomes into health policy and practice, and translation of policy issues into mathematical formulation. The proposed event will bring together Canadian public health professionals and planners, key decision makers involved in Indigenous health, and leading infectious disease modellers to address the following specific objectives:

  • (a) Present the outcomes of post-pandemic 2009 research findings, and demonstrate their relevance to public health planning for protecting the health of Indigenous populations and inequality of many diseases including influenza, TB, HPV and STD;
  • (b) Identify existing gaps in disease modelling knowledge that has to-date not been addressed in the ongoing research activities and should be prioritized for further research;
  • (c) Develop collaboration with Aboriginal health organizations within territorial, provincial, and federal jurisdictions, and foster collaborative efforts with modellers.

Invited speakers and participants:
Julien Arino (Manitoba), James Watmough (New Brunswick), Michael Li (Alberta), Fred Brauer (UBC), Pauline van den Driessche (Victoria), Troy Day (Queen's), Robert Smith? (Ottawa), Jie Lou (Shanghai University and China CDC), Yiming Shao (China CDC), David Fisman (Toronto), Babak Pourbohloul (BC CDC), Ping Ying (PHAC), Amy Greer (PHAC), Hongbin Guo (PHAC), Tom Wong (PHAC), Valeri Gideon (PHAC), Kathi Kinew (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs), Margaret Fast (National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases), Jennifer Raven (CIHR), Nathaniel Osgood (Saskatchewan), Dong Mei (Queen's), Bernard Moulin (Université Laval), Derren Scott, (McMaster), Marius Thériault (Université Laval), Richard Long (University of Alberta), David Buckeridge (McGill),Yadieh Yacoub, (PHAC), Larry Svenson (Alberta Health and Wellness)