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CIT’s Data Collection Software to power Vaccine Trials

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Makerere University Faculty of Computing & IT (FCIT) has developed data collection software that gathers, analyzes and stores data. OpenXData was developed as the first stage of the three stages of the Open Mobile Electronic Vaccine Trials (OMEVAC) project.

Makerere University Faculty of Computing & IT (FCIT) has developed data collection software that gathers, analyzes and stores data. OpenXData was developed as the first stage of the three stages of the Open Mobile Electronic Vaccine Trials (OMEVAC) project.

This software, intended for data collecting institutions, is made largely for the vaccine trials data collection.

The program has two sides: the server side where the administrator designs the questionnaire, sets formats for the data, manages users, reviews results and stores information and the client side where a download of the form can be accessed and the questionnaire itself availabled for the client to fill.

According to Ms. Lighton the Project Coordinator, the program is void of error, more accurate than manual data collection, and has embraced use of the most widely accessed technology, the mobile phone.

OpenXData involves the use of a mobile phone, a tool that is within the reach of most Ugandans” Ms. Lighton said, adding that “it is more accurate and less susceptible to human error compared to the traditional questionnaires.”

The project can be remotely monitored, hence eliminating the need for the researcher to physically travel to the field so as to gather accurate information. “The program can be monitored from the server, so the researcher need not be at the intended place, since the server will indicate the location of the cell phone used.” Ms. Lighton further expounded.

Although this program is considered an innovation in Uganda, similar programs have been used elsewhere in Rwanda University for student data collection, and for humanitarian purposes in Pakistan. Nearer home, it has been used by the Ministry of Education to monitor students. However, the major difference with these previous projects is that the more expensive PDAs were employed, unlike OpenXData which seeks to use the cheaper mobile phone and any computer web browser.

In the Ugandan case, java-enabled phones would be recommended as these facilitate the download and subsequent filling out of the forms by the researcher, with the aid of the Open X Data program client side. The form may then be sent to the server via the internet or through Bluetooth wireless file transfer, if the client is within proximity of a Bluetooth-enabled computer with an internet connection. Alternatively the information may be sent via SMS, although this would be more costly than online transmission.

The program will be availed for the vaccine trials project once all the three stage are complete. However, the project has already awakened keen interest and received high recognition from service providers, researchers, program managers and program evaluators since its launch in November 2009.

Article by Kogai Donald 

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.

But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.

He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.

He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.

So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.

Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.

About the JADS program

The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline.  The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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