Epidemics may contribute to and arise as a result of conflict. The effects of conflict on infectious diseases are complex. There have been counter-intuitive observations of both increase and decrease in disease outbreaks during and after conflicts. However there is no unified mathematical model that explains all these observations. There is an urgent need for a quantitative framework for modelling conflicts and epidemics. The article introduces a set of mathematical models to understand the role of conflicts in epidemics. The corresponding mathematical framework has the potential to explain the counter intuitive observations and the complex role of human conflicts in epidemics. This work suggests that aid and peacekeeping organizations should take an integrated approach that combines public health measures, socio-economic development, and peacekeeping in conflict zones.
This approach exemplifies the role of non-linear thinking in complex systems like human societies. The work presented should be looked upon as a first step towards a quantitative model of disease spread in conflicts.
Towards a quantitative model of epidemics during conflicts