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Mekelle University Joins the Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network (VODAN)


In a Press Release by Mekelle University, Ethiopia, they have officially joined the VODAN Africa Initiative. Read the news below.

On April 07, 2020, Mekelle University officially joined The Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network (VODAN) Partnership. VODAN is supported by GO FAIR, CODATA, Research Data Alliance, and World Data System.

Ethiopia is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. This data is critical. Thus, the Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network (VODAN) will facilitate and support the generation of solid and reliable data that can be analyzed by Mekelle University scientists with scientists globally. By having reliable evidence, scientists of Mekelle University would be in a better position to advise policy and decision-makers at Tigray Regional Health Bureau and the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia.

The first deployment of VODAN is focused on establishing a COVID-19 Data Point based on the global standards of the Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network (VODAN). COVID data will be prepared by data stewards for machine readability and developers can then begin data queries with all data pointing to FAIR Data Points, including in China, Europe, the US, and Brazil. The data remain fully within the jurisdiction of national governance and regulatory systems and queries will be certified by the GO FAIR office.

In the next phase, the emphasis will be on expansion, providing easy back-end solutions to make digital records machine-readable and deploy in compliance with national regulatory frameworks, including personal (health) data protection. In this expansion phase, there can be a focus on deployment servicing other languages through interfaces, and expand the number of data points. An engagement of Ministries of Health and Bureau is also critical at this point. The infrastructures will be ready for more complex queries and support the creation of hypotheses and support of scientific assertions. The hard and soft infrastructures remain fully in place to help strengthen our health systems.�