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MAEMOD’s vision remains to provide pragmatic high technology solutions in resource poor settings. We will apply appropriate cutting-edge mathematical and economic methodologies to accelerate the delivery of the life-saving clinical research conducted at MORU to those who need it most. We plan to expand our capacity building programme abroad and in Thailand, where it has resulted in increased engagement with Thai government partners.

Moru bangkok march 8 2019 0022 © 2019 MORU. Photographer: Gerhard Jørén
Wirichada Pan-ngum reviews work with postgraduate students (from left) Wiriya Mahikul, Sayambhu Saita and Udomsak Narkkul

The MAEMOD Department’s future work by topic and Group:

Current models | Internet of Things (IoT) | AToME | BRAG | EIRG | NTDM | Capacity building

Current models

MAEMOD plans to continue working on its current models portfolio for:

  • Rabies surveillance and control working with the Thai Government Livestock Department, the Computer Engineering Department at Chulalongkorn University and the Veterinary Science Department at Mahidol University
  • Rotavirus vaccination strategies working with the international department of the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Programme (HiTAP) and the Thai National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)
  • Hepatitis C optimal screening and treatment strategies working with HiTAP-Thailand and Thai Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)

Internet of Things

An emerging theme that MAEMOD plan to explore further is internet of things (IoT) health solutions. With the support of the MORU Institutional Translational Partnership Awards (iTPA) team, we are developing several health applications with collaborating groups within MORU and with industrial partners.

AToME group aims

  • Continue development of a platform to serve as a trial simulation tool to in the planning and design of clinical trials.
  • Use a recently funded Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) grant to offer analytical support to GMS countries to best inform their NSTs (national strategic plans) targeting elimination. This involves several stages of software development and integration with existing surveillance data collection tools.
  • Model triple artemisinin combination therapies (TACTs). The group is part of a large team UKAid funded DeTACT project trialling two different TACTs in 12 countries. We will investigate which combination of drugs are expected to slow down the spread of ACT resistance in SE emergence in Africa. A strong health economics component will aim to build a business case for first line therapy replacement.
  • We continue to assess the cost effectiveness of different malaria intervention packages building on an extensive costing work of different intervention as part of the BMGF-funded Malaria Modelling Consortium cost effectiveness work package.
  • Model cost-effective unified treatment strategies for multiple malaria species.

BRAG plans

  • Carry out a randomised controlled trial to reduce the duration of antibiotic treatment for ventilator acquired pneumonia (VAP) in Southeast Asia
  • Perform a Whole Genome Sequencing study of Acinetobacter spp. transmission in a neonatal intensive care unit
  • Develop and evaluate a modelling evidence-based hospital antibiotic stewardship intervention
  • Develop and evaluate improved and reproducible strategies to improve hand hygiene behaviour in healthcare settings
  • Model AMR in poultry production systems in Southeast Asia.

EIRG

  • Perform cluster randomised controlled trial of CRP guided treatment in acute respiratory infections and fevers, to be performed in 48 health centres and in over 50,000 patients.
  • Design optimal packages for the extension of the role of village malaria workers to village health workers. We have received funding approval for the establishment of a network of 520 VHWs across the region in whom we will collect data and samples on the causes, incidence and outcomes of febrile illness, and run cluster RCTs for new diagnostics and other interventions to improve the care of non-malarial febrile illness in the region.
  • Using aetiology and biomarker data from the largest ever fever study to design fever management algorithms.

NTDM Group aims

  • Continue working on public health issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia using modelling approaches.
  • Take a participatory modelling approach to engage with communities as well as policy makers. Participation will be sought at all stages of model development and analysis, enabling the stakeholders to play an active and influential role in stating research problems, designing the study and coming to the health decisions.
  • Build collaborations with staff of Mahidol’s faculty of Tropical Medicine, other Mahidol faculties, the Thai Ministry of Public Health and other national organizations.
  • Provide support and work collaboratively with other MAEMOD groups.
  • Develop a multi-species febrile illness modelling approach to explore cost effective horizontal public health strategy.

Capacity building

Wirichada Pan-Ngum has contributed significant content to the Mahidol University online MSc in Biomedical and Health Informatics which has provided training to many MAEMOD and other MORU staff. In parallel former Head of MAEMOD Lisa White is developing a new MSc course in Global Health Modelling, with a business case in preparation at Oxford University. MAEMOD continues to support the NDM MSC in International Health and Tropical Medicine. Our vision for training is to combine these two courses in a 1+1 programme whilst offering selected modules as commercial short courses, raising scholarship funds for further capacity building. We will extend the reach of this training to the other AAPs and beyond to our partners in the Tropical Diseases Modelling Network (TDModNet).

MAEMOD has some experience of consulting work with industrial partners to augment our funding for research and training. In the coming years we will formalise this activity as “MAEMOD Consulting”. This vehicle will have the benefit of legal support from Oxford University, will consider projects which are aligned with the MAEMOD ethical and methodological remit and may result in a spin-off company with dedicated staff.