Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Kaveh Khoshnood

Second Advisor

Danielle Poole


Researchers have utilized transmission dynamic modeling to determine interactions between hosts and pathogens in many humanitarian settings. However, modeling for the cholera outbreak in Northwest Syria (NWS) has yet to be completed. This thesis presents a path towards cholera model building in NWS by investigating the current cholera outbreak, outlining how to create a compartmental model in this region given its complexities, and determining ways potential cholera models could be utilized in NWS. Intricacies involving the region's ongoing civil war, significant internally displaced persons (IDP) population, and the February 2023 earthquake add complexities to modeling in this region. For the modeling process to begin, an equitable, trusting relationship with humanitarian actors and other stakeholders must be built. Modeling cholera in NWS also involves tackling the challenges of data availability and sensitivity from it being a conflict zone. The parameter research and estimation process will need to be context specific to account for the complexities of NWS being a conflict zone. Field epidemiology is one way to collect information surrounding the parameters of the pathogen and the host, but doing so in a humanitarian conflict has been challenging. Demography parameters are difficult to estimate in NWS due to insufficient infrastructure, security issues, the large percentage of IDPs in the population, and the lack of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS). Models can be utilized to incorporate interventions and cost-effectiveness. Modeling the transmission dynamics of the cholera outbreak in NWS will allow health organizations and NGOs to maximize preparedness and correctly allocate resources.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access