2014 Edelman Winner CDC & KidRisk

Polio Eradicators Use Integrated Analytical Models to Make Better Decisions

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Kid Risk, Inc.: Polio Eradicators Use Integrated Analytical Models to Make Better DecisionsPresented by: Steven Wassilak, Mark A. Pallansch, Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens, Kimberly M. Thompson Authors: Kimberly M. Thompson, Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens (Kid Risk, Inc.) Mark A. Pallansch, Steven G.F. Wassilak, Stephen L. Cochi (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Abstract: Achieving and maintaining global polio eradication requires that multiple global stakeholders coordinate and cooperate to invest human and financial resources in interventions that prevent virus transmission. Reaching the goal depends on effective tools and interventions, and their optimal use. Poliovirus transmission occurs in a complex global system, with rapidly evolving viruses that readily cross international borders. Complexities associated with managing poliovirus risks come from: (1) the dynamic spread of the three different poliovirus serotypes that must be individually eradicated, (2) the potential detection of only the small fraction of infections that lead to paralysis, and (3) the use of two vaccines with very different risks, costs, and benefits (i.e., oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) and inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)). The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of four spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) (along with WHO, UNICEF, and Rotary International), initiated a collaboration with Kid Risk, Inc. to develop and apply integrated analytical models to answer high-stakes policy questions related to managing the risks of polioviruses with full consideration of both human health and economic outcomes. Over the last decade, the collaboration innovatively combined numerous operations research and management science tools, including simulation, decision and risk analysis, system dynamics, game theory, and optimization to help policy makers understand and quantify the implications of their choices. The insights from these integrated modeling efforts prevented cases of paralysis, saved millions of dollars, sharpened the effective use of polio vaccines, led to management and programmatic improvements, and motivated significant national commitments to increase population immunity and global commitments to finance the GPEI to finish the job.