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  • Role of Data Streams In Informing Infection Dynamics in Africa- INFORM Africa


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    Other PIs:
    • Charurat, Manhattan E
    • De Oliveira, Tulio De Paiva Nazareth Andrade
    • Naranbhai, Vivek
    • Xiong, Chenfeng

    INFORM Africa

    Contact PI

    Alash'le Abimiku
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    Project type

    Research Hub

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    A key problem in Africa is the paucity of population-scale epidemiologic data sources and analytical capacity to rapidly identify and understand infectious disease pandemics. Yet, in the context of fragile health systems and limited resources, the need for population-scale epidemiologic data is even more urgent to provide information on transmission dynamics and inform interventions. The overall goal of the ‘Role of Data streams In Informing infection dynamics in Africa (INFORM Africa) Hub’ is to effectively use big data to address pressing public health needs of SARS CoV-2 and HIV pandemics with the overall goal of developing population-scale data streams as a cornerstone of future pandemic preparedness. INFORM Africa proposes to use existing data from Nigeria and South Africa, the two most impacted countries in Africa accounting for 41% of the continent’s SARS-CoV-2 infection and about 40% of its HIV burden. The Hub is led by two well-established and successful non-governmental organizations: Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and the and the Centre for the AIDS Programme Of Research In South Africa (CAPRISA) with strong links with Universities and their respective government agencies, also engaged. INFORM Africa also partners with a private partner from the industry – Akros Zambia. INFORM Africa has assembled experienced researchers with complimentary expertise in big data analytics, quantum information processing, spatial statistics and analysis, genetics, computational biology, agent-based and data driven modelling, clinical infectious diseases, infectious disease epidemiology, molecular virology, and geospatial analytics to address the goal of this submission through four Specific Aims. AIM 1 establishes data streams from public and private sectors in order to understand the multilayer interactions that may explain the dynamics and impact of COVID- 19 pandemic, through three proposed Research Projects and two proposed Cores, supplemented by the pilot projects. AIM 2 develops geospatial tools for use by country leadership and governments in pandemic surveillance and response to improve preparedness. AIM 3 expands data science research opportunities and capacity through the engagement with the broader DS-I Africa consortium and through several proposed pilot projects in data science. AIM 4 maintains a sustained engagement with the policy makers and governments in order to promote further open access to high quality data and the redistribution and uptake of any product/tool developed by the INFORM Africa. The DMAC & NGS Core is the lynchpin of INFORM Africa, assembling and managing the Research Hub’s data and providing seamless access to a set of tools and workflows that link the Hub to the broader DS-I Africa Open Science Data Platform and coordinating center. The Administrative Core harmonizes and streamlines administrative, financial, and communication processes for INFORM Africa, and coordinates the selection of pilot projects consistent with INFORM Africa’s aims, and in compliance with DS-I Africa requirements. Project and Core leads make up the MPD/PI leadership and the Steering Committee of the INFORM Africa supported by a Scientific Advisory Board.

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