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VODAN in a Box Strengthens South-South Cooperation on COVID-19 Control


In a two-hour session hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachira of Ravel Works, Africa, and witnessed by 33 participants which consist of Data Stewards and observers from Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and the United States, the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) initiative has installed a second Machine-actionable FAIR Data point for COVID-19 in Data Science Nigeria. This is coming barely two weeks after the successful installation of the first VODAN-in-a-Box at Kampala International University.

The installation which was carried out by Oluwatobi Babajide of Data Science Nigeria under the technical guidance of Mariam Basajja, a PhD student at Leiden University and Kampala International University, was preceded by a presentation by the Convener of Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Olubayo Adekambi, where he showcased some of the works of the organization as the Premier Artificial Intelligence hub in Nigeria and the West Africa region.

The Virus Outbreak Data Network is a collaboration between Kampala International University, Leiden University and other universities, Addis Ababa University and Mekelle University in Ethiopia, University de Sousse in Tunisia, Tangaza University in Kenya, Ibrahim Babamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Olabisi Onabanjo University, and Data Science in Nigeria and Great Zimbabwe University in Zimbabwe.

VODAN-in-a-Box is a toolset to facilitate the capture of data related to virus outbreaks and the publication of metadata describing these datasets. It is one of the highlighted outcomes of two GO FAIR Foundation projects funded by the Philips Foundation and ZonMw, that focus on making SARS CoV-2 virus data FAIR. As a result, real-world COVID-19 patient data is available for research, under well-defined conditions and with patient privacy well-protected.

Francisca Oladipo, KIU, francisca.oladipo@kiu.ac.ug, phone: +256756037211
Margot Cooymans, Philips Foundation, margot.cooijmans@philips.com,  phone: +31 628639644
Bert Meerman, GO FAIR Foundation, b.meerman@gofairfoundation.org, phone +31 653661044
Mirjam van Reisen, Leiden University, mirjamvareisen@gmail.com, phone +32 479468690