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Engineers ­se Computer Models to Help Resource-Poor Nations Improve Allocation of Limited Health Care Resources

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Malaria spraying

Workers preparing to spray to prevent malaria.

Credit: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech researchers are using computer models to help resource-poor nations improve supply chain decisions.

"We are using mathematical models implemented in user-friendly tools like Microsoft Excel to improve the allocation of limited resources across a network, especially in resource-poor settings," says Georgia Tech's Julie Swann.

The researchers created models to determine how a South African nongovernmental organization should expand its breast milk donation and distribution network to the whole country. "We wanted to determine how we could provide breast milk to the most people while also being geographically equitable in terms of access," Swann says.

The researchers also developed models to optimize the distribution of non-pharmaceutical interventions for malaria using pilot data from Swaziland. The models provided a time-based deployment plan for the country.

In a third project, Swann and her colleagues are using technology to estimate the performance of disaster preparedness plans in advance of an event. "To forecast the country’s ability to provide health services following an earthquake, we took population data and overlaid it with projections of earthquake locations and severity to estimate the capacities and amount of congestion that would result at health care facilities," Swann says.

From Georgia Tech News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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