Grants awarded

COVID-19 Intervention Modelling for East Africa (CIMEA)

Grantholder:

Prof James Nokes

University of Warwick

United Kingdom

Grantholder:

Dr George Githinji

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Kenya

Grantholder:

Prof Matthew Cotten

MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit

Uganda

Grantholder:

Prof Matthew Keeling

University of Warwick

United Kingdom

Grantholder:

Prof Xavier Didelot

University of Warwick

United Kingdom

COVID-19 is a global threat to health, with many countries reporting extended outbreaks. To date, nine countries in Africa have recorded infections and it seems imminent that East Africa will have introductions and onward transmission. 

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, the aetiological agent of COVID-19, spreads rapidly which means that control will be difficult.

National plans for dealing with this public health emergency will benefit from predictions of the expected rate, distribution and extent of spread in countries throughout the region, and on the likely impact and feasibility of isolation and contact tracing interventions. 

We will support the emergency preparations through bespoke modelling – incorporating known demographic population structures, age-related contact patterns and existing mobile phone population movement data. In Uganda and Kenya we will collect epidemiological, genomic and behavioural data through health facility surveillance, household follow-up and contact studies. This will allow us to quantify uncertainties of SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemiology and contact patterns in well and unwell individuals. 

Results from the study will be rapidly communicated to the relevant authorities. Modelling code and analysis, and data including sequences, will be placed in the public domain in near real-time. This project could have lasting impact on the role of research in policy decisions.