COST Action CA18218

[Summer School] Burden of infectious diseases

Date & Place

28-30 August, 2024 [! NEW DATE]
Ghent, Belgium

About the summer school


The Burden of Infectious Diseases summer school introduces the key concepts of burden of disease (BoD) applied to infectious diseases. It provides professionals, researchers and students in public health and related fields, with practical knowledge on calculating Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) for infectious diseases. The summer school introduces the concept and rationale of the Years of Life Lost (YLL), Years Lived with Disability (YLD) and their combined metric the DALY, and gives insight into the specific data requirements and modelling aspects when calculating DALYs for infectious diseases. Through hands-on exercises, these different theoretical concepts are put into practice.


The TS will be organized in three modules. Each module will include a theoretical and a practical part, including exercises and follow-up discussions. Each module is planned to take place from 9h30 to 16h30 CET, including a lunch break.

  • Module 1 (Introduction to DALYs and YLLs) introduces the basic concept of burden of disease and DALYs in the context of infectious diseases
  • Module 2 (Data requirements and disease models) focuses on the specificities of calculating YLDs and YLLs for infectious diseases
  • Module 3 (Knowledge translation and reporting) addresses practical issues related to knowledge translation, uncertainties, and reporting

Exercises will provide opportunities for hands-on practice supervised by experienced burden of disease researchers. Throughout the three modules, participants will work on a project related to a specific infectious disease, and will address data collection, calculation, and knowledge translation.


Time (CET)Module 1
Wednesday 28/08
Module 2
Thursday 29/08
Module 3
Friday 30/08
9h00 Welcome & introductions    
9h30 Welcome & wrapup of previous session Welcome & wrapup of previous session
10h00 Introduction to DALYs for infectious diseases Data requirements and disease models Knowledge translation, uncertainties and reporting
11h00 Exercise
12h00 Q&A Q&A Q&A
12h30 Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break
13h30 Calculating Years of Life Lost
Exercise Exercise: burden of infectious disease project
14h30 Exercise
16h00 Q&A Q&A Q&A
16h30 Closure of module 1 Closure of module 2 Closure of module 3



Brecht Devleesschauwer, Sciensano, Belgium

Dr. Brecht Devleesschauwer is a senior epidemiologist at Sciensano (the Belgian institute for health) and visiting professor in Risk Analysis at Ghent University. He conducts policy-driven public health research in the domain of composite measures of population health and health inequalities. As a member of the World Health Organization Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (WHO/FERG), he contributed to the estimation of the global burden of foodborne disease. Currently, he is coordinating the Belgian National Burden of Disease Study, and chairing the European Burden of Disease Network (COST Action CA18218). Brecht holds PhD degrees in Public Health and Veterinary Sciences, and MSc degrees in Biostatistics and Veterinary Medicine.

Carlotta Di Bari, Sciensano, Belgium

Carlotta di Bari is a scientist at Sciensano and doing a PhD in the Department of Translational Physiology, Infectiology, and Public Health at Ghent University. She is a member of the Human Health team within the Global Burden of Animal Diseases project, where the team investigates the societal impact of animal diseases. She is actively contributing to the WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group, providing support to the Computational task force, overseeing commissioned works and systematic reviews. Her research focuses on strengthening the evidence base surrounding the global burden of neglected zoonotic diseases.

Sara Monteiro Pires, National Food Institute, Denmark

Dr. Sara Pires is a senior scientist at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. Her main areas of research are the burden and control of foodborne diseases. She has developed and applied methods to assess the burden of food-associated diseases at national and international level, and to provide evidence to guide public health policy for disease prevention. She is the chair of the Working Group on Infectious Diseases of the European Burden of Disease Network.

How to participate

Eligibility and prerequisites

The summer school is open to everyone with a basic understanding of epidemiology.

Teaching will be in English. Exercises will require a basic proficiency in MS Excel.


The number of participants will be limited to a maximum of 30. Applicants will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registrations are open until 1 July 2024.

Click here to register

More information

For more information on the Summer School, please contact us via .

About COST

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