John Muthii Muriuki

John Muthii Muriuki, ILRI graduate fellow attached to the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa project (photo credit: ILRI/John M. Muriuki).

The South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA) has invited John Muthii Muriuki, a graduate fellow at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), to attend its fifth annual clinic on the meaningful modelling of epidemiological data. The clinic takes place on 2-13 June 2014 at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa.

The highly competitive training course is offered in collaboration with the International Clinics on Infectious Disease Dynamics and Data (ICI3D) program and AIMS. Participants will include graduate students, postdoctoral students and researchers from Africa and North America.

The clinic focuses on the use of data in understanding infectious disease dynamics. Participants will work on epidemiological modelling projects that use real data to grapple with practical questions in a meaningful way.

Muriuki is studying for a Master’s degree in veterinary epidemiology and economics at the University of Nairobi. He was attached to the Kenya team of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa project that is exploring the drivers of Rift Valley fever in the country and took part in sampling and community surveys in Garissa and Tana River.

He is excited at the opportunity to take part in the clinic and expects to learn more about modelling the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases.

“This clinic could not have come at a better time because I’m now developing a malaria transmission model in an irrigated set-up. Through this training, I expect to get more ideas to refine the model,” said Muriuki.

“I have a lot of interest in epidemiological modelling. The knowledge and skills gained from the clinic will enable me further my research work in this noble area,” he added.

Bernard Bett, a veterinary epidemiologist at ILRI and one of Muriuki’s supervisors, is confident that the training will enable Muriuki to refine the malaria transmission model being developed.

“It will also be a good opportunity for him to build networks with other professionals working on infectious disease research,” said Bett, who also leads the Kenya team of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease project.