Simulation Models and Feasibility Studies Helping Improve Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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Improving Outcomes for Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries is a compilation of RTI International and RTI Health Solutions’ work with developing countries to find solutions for growing health threats that affect their well-being and economies. This book presents the results of seven pilot projects to explore applications of RTI’s expertise and global presence to reducing the burden from noncommunicable diseases and improving patient outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.

RTI Health Solutions Senior Research Economist Christine Poulos, PhD, contributed her expertise to two chapters in Improving Outcomes. Dr. Poulos has more than 10 years of academic, government, donor, and commercial experience in health and environmental economics. Her area of expertise is survey research to support the assessment of preferences, willingness to pay and demand for products and services, cost-benefit analyses, and impact evaluation studies to support health and environmental policy decision making.

Chapter three explains how various models were used to gain an understanding of issues surrounding a program to address obesity and low birth weight in Indonesia.
The results of this study demonstrated that microsimulation models of low birth weight and obesity can be useful tools in the hands of appropriate policy makers, and that studies can measure regional and national impacts of clinically specific interventions. Chapter four details a pilot study designed to look into the feasibility of using the Meducation system– an internet-based software–to provide informational handouts to patients in an effort to enhance patient education.

These pilot studies as well as others in the book were implemented with the collaboration of healthcare professionals battling the surge in noncommunicable diseases. Aaron Williams, Director of the US Peace Corps from 2009-2012 and Executive Vice President of RTI International stated, “Effective partnerships will be crucial for meeting the global challenge, and RTI has offered a bold but pragmatic roadmap for future engagement with local practitioners, aimed at addressing this new global health threat and saving lives.”

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