Models designed to study disease transmission in a research setting provide useful information to inform public health interventions, but their complexity represents a significant barrier to their use by practitioners. Here, we developed a proof-of-concept web-based decision support tool to translate a model evaluating integrated treatment methods for schistosomiasis and malaria disease control programs into a user-friendly web-based tool.
Implementing effective public health programs to control infectious diseases requires an understanding of many factors related to disease transmission, treatment, prevention strategies, disease interactions, and the characteristics of the impacted communities. In collaboration with researchers at the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we developed an interactive decision support tool based on a previously-published model evaluating the benefit of integrated schistosomiasis and malaria control programs. These diseases have significant geographic and epidemiological overlap, but are often treated independently in communities. This effort demonstrated the potential to significantly increase the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of disease control through extension of academic models into practical decision support tools.