The latest CaHRU Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar was given online on June 2nd 2020 by Professor Frank Tanser, global professor in rural health and social care and director of the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health. He is an epidemiologist whose research has focused on important public health problems in rural populations. He was a founding member and leads a Wellcome Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute funded group in the Africa Health Research Institute which aims to seek cures for HIV, TB and related diseases in low- and middle-income countries.
Professor Tanser’s talk, entitled ‘The use of spatial epidemiological methods to enhance understanding of epidemics’, focused on the presentation of case studies of the use of spatial epidemiological methods to understand the evolution of infectious disease epidemics from his work in rural Africa over the last 20 years. The webinar began with an overview of what epidemiology is and the rationale behind using spatial epidemiological methods to help us understand the spread of infectious disease epidemics. Frank then discussed the HIV epidemic in Africa, presenting data from his own seminal work, and how we can use scan statistics to perform geographical surveillance of a particular disease and work out whether a disease is randomly distributed over space, over time, or over space and time. Frank also talked about his work on urogenital schistosomiasis and finished his webinar with a quick description of plans for future work using spatial epidemiological methods.
The webinar, the first CaHRU seminar to be conducted online, was very well attended and provided a great introduction to the use of spatial epidemiological methods and how they can help us understand the evolution of infectious disease epidemics and pandemics, such as COVID-19. To hear the talk click here.
The next seminar in the series will be given by Dr Brian Crosbie of NIHR Research Design Service East Midlands, on “Actor Network Theory and Health Research” and will take place on Teams on 15th July, 11.00 – 12.00. Please contact Sue Bowler (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to join the seminar.
By Despina Laparidou