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AFRICA BUILD Portal: Connecting Health Researchers in Africa

The AFRICA BUILD Portal (ABP) is an Open and Free Social and Professional Network for supporting collaborative links and access to a broad variety of informatics tools for Health Training and Research in Africa.

If you are a student, a teacher, a researcher or a practitioner working in Health then, register at the AFRICA BUILD Portal and access our Courses in Health Research, join the Communities of Practice of your interest, make Networking with other researchers working on your area and access our Mobility Brokerage Service to find people to work with!

We are waiting for you!

لبناء قدرات مستدامة للبحوث الصحية  بأفريقيا

يعتبر"بناء أفريقيا" مبادرة تنسيقية تهدف إلى دعم وتطوير مراكز تميز متقدمة للتعليم والبحوث بمجال الرعاية الصحية في البلدان الأفريقية من خلال تكنولوجيا المعلومات. 

Ebola, vaincre ensemble

Ce cours est co-produit par l'Université de Genève (Unige) et l'université numérique francophone des sciences du sport et de la santé (UNF3S).

Il s’agit d’un MOOC sur la crise internationale sur Ebola partie d’Afrique de l’Ouest en 2014 ; d’une durée de 5 semaines, où interviendront plus de 30 professeurs des universités, chercheurs, responsables politiques, autorités sanitaires nationales et internationales, membres d’ONGs, et autres acteurs d’Europe et d’Afrique sur plus de 60 séquences vidéos.

Ce MOOC est ouvert et gratuit pour tous les publics. Le public cible est principalement le milieu des soignants francophones et les acteurs (publics et privés) des politiques publiques.

Plan du cours

Semaine 1 : Comprendre la maladie
· les aspects cliniques
· les aspects virologiques
· les aspects immunologiques
· les traitements symptomatiques actuels
· l’épidémiologie de la maladie

Semaine 2 : Ebola comme symptômes d’un désordre social et politique
· les causes sociales économiques et politiques du problème
· la faiblesse du système
· les aspects culturels
· la pauvreté

Semaine 3 : Les impacts sur nos vies et nos sociétés
· les impacts sanitaires et économiques sur la société et les institutions
· présentation de modèles mathématiques et prévisions

Semaine 4 : Les réponses pour l’Afrique et le monde
· les interventions
· la prise en charge des malades
· les principaux obstacles rencontrés
· la réponse internationale
· la perception du risque
· les développements de médicaments et vaccins
· le volet éthique
· la réponse de l'OMS
· la place de la recherche et des médias

Semaine 5 : Enfin sera organisé un colloque en direct, entièrement virtuel, sur la plateforme du MOOC, réservé aux participants inscrits sur FUN, avec la participation d’un panel d’orateurs du MOOC. Cette session de deux heures permettra de réaliser une mise à jour des informations sur la situation épidémique, et sera l’occasion d’une intégration des connaissances dispensées tout au long de ce cours.

Cliquez ici pour en savoir plus!

Last courses of the year

"Text Mining and Information Retrieval" and "Biomedical Informatics Standards" courses at ABP"Text Mining and Information Retrieval" and "Biomedical Informatics Standards" courses at ABP

During 2014, we have launched several courses related to Medicine and Research but also related to Biomedical Informatics. Before finishing 2014, we want to launch two short courses more on Biomedical Informatics. In this case we present Text Mining and Information Retrieval and Biomedical Informatics Standards.

Text mining, also referred to as text data mining, roughly equivalent to text analytics, refers to the process of deriving high-quality information from text. High-quality information is typically derived through the devising of patterns and trends through means such as statistical pattern learning.

Text mining usually involves the process of structuring the input text (usually parsing, along with the addition of some derived linguistic features and the removal of others, and subsequent insertion into a database), deriving patterns within the structured data, and finally evaluation and interpretation of the output.

'High quality' in text mining usually refers to some combination of relevance, novelty, and interestingness. Typical text mining tasks include text categorization, text clustering, concept/entity extraction, production of granular taxonomies, sentiment analysis, document summarization, and entity relation modeling (i.e., learning relations between named entities).

This course aims to provide a brief introduction to the basic Text Mining concepts.

On the other hand, the task of transmitting or linking data across multiple biomedical data sources is often difficult because of the multitude of different formats and systems that are available for storing data.

Standard methods are thus needed for both representing and exchanging information across disparate data sources to link potentially related data across the spectrum of translational medicine -from laboratory data at the bench to patient charts at the bedside to linkage and availability of clinical data across a community to the development of aggregate statistics of populations.

These standards need to accommodate the range of heterogeneous data storage systems that may be required for clinical or research purposes, while enabling the data to be accessible for subsequent linkage and retrieval. Standards are thus an essential element in the representation of data in a form that can be readily exchanged with other systems.

This other course presents some of the most used standards in biomedice nowadays as HL7 (Electronic Health Records) and vocabularies as SNOMED or MeSH.

Enrol to these courses to learn a little bit more about Biomedical Informatics!!

Digitized AFRICA BUILD Roadmap @ ABP

AB Digital RoadmapDigital version of AB Roadmap

Today, we release the "Report on the state of the art and strategic plan in the region" among the other public deliverables of the project. This document is the public Deliverable 2.1 and it is the most relevant result of the efforts carried out in the WP2: Analysis of training requirements and needs and State of the Art in the Region.

Africa still faces many challenges in health, which are keeping this continent behind others in achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Given such a challenge, African countries need to improve health care by strengthening national health systems.

The AFRICA BUILD roadmap outlines an integrated framework for strengthening the national health systems in Africa utilizing eHealth, Research and Innovation (R&I) for health, and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)-Capacity Building (CB).

The roadmap methodology is based on the following steps:

1. Understanding the current state of eHealth and health research and education in Africa as well as how to align findings with the corresponding international trend. This is carried out through a literature review, online surveys, building a synthesis matrix.

2. Analyzing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) matrix of eHealth in Africa. This task is accompanied with a clear identification of roadmap scope and the addressed questions through contributions of the project’s experts —especially from Africa, via the AFRICA BUILD Portal.

3. Developing the roadmap framework that identify the challenges and the corresponding actions to be taken.

Furthermore, the ABP development team integrated a digital version of this roadmap in the portal. Do not hesitate to take a look!

New ABP Android-based App

AFRICA BUILD launches a new Android-based App for accessing the courses and learning materials from the AFRICA BUILD Portal.

Through this App, students may access from anywhere to the courses in which they are enrolled. They may follow different lectures, complete the required quizzes and discuss with other students.

Download this new App looking up "ABP Courses" at Google Play or by clicking on this link!

Do not hesitate to report all the feedback that you consider. We'll appreciate. Thanks!!

Prototype of a new Ebola Catalog @ ABP

AFRICA BUILD is launching a prototype of a new tool that aims to gather and arrange useful information resources about Ebola.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, DRC. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name. Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. The case-fatality rate varies from 25 to 90 percent, depending on the strain.

If contracted, Ebola is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90 percent of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities.

Since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was officially declared on March 22 in Guinea, it has claimed 4,919 lives in the region. The outbreak is the largest ever, and is currently affecting four countries in West Africa: Mali, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (MSF).

The Ebola Catalog prototype is already available at the AFRICA BUILD Portal. We invite you to take a look. This new tool is still just a prototype in which we will be working during the next months. We appreciate your suggestions and comments and, of course, any information that you consider relevant to be included.

Joint Clinical R&D Fellowships from EDCTP and TDR

Joint Clinical R&D Fellowships from EDCTP and TDR

EDCTP and TDR offer first joint Clinical R&D Fellowships

Members of clinical research teams from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are now invited to apply for the EDCTP-TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowship scheme. Successful candidates will be placed with leading product development organisations, including pharmaceutical companies and product development partnerships - the 'host organisations'- for a period of up to 24 months.

A total of 25 fellowships is available for this call; 20 product development organisations have offered to host fellows. The host organisations will train individuals to develop specialist product development skills not readily taught in academic centres or public research institutions. On returning to their home organisations, the fellows are expected to become an important resource for institutional capacity development to undertake and manage clinical research in accordance with international regulatory requirements and standards.

EDCTP and TDR cooperation

The EDCTP-TDR partnership includes a joint evaluation and selection process of applications submitted to this call. However, grant awarding and budget management are managed separately by each organisation. TDR will fund fellows employed by a research institution in any LMIC to be placed in pharmaceutical companies and product development partnerships either in or outside Europe to train and develop new research skills on infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and neglected infectious diseases. EDCTP will fund fellows employed by a sub-Saharan African legal entity to be placed in European-based pharmaceutical companies to train and develop new research skills of relevance to poverty-related diseases (PRDs).

Clinical Research and Development Fellowships

This scheme aims to develop human resources for high quality research and development in PRDs. Fellowships are expected to strengthen the skills of the best and most promising researchers from LMICs, to enhance and maximise their contribution in research institutions in LMICs. Fellows can only be funded once under this grant scheme. Grants awarded are not transferrable from one individual to another. Placements are for a minimum period of 6 months up to a maximum period of 24 months. Fellows must be committed to return to their home organisation for a minimum of two years after completion of the fellowship.

The deadline for applications is 30 January 2015, 16:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Applications must be submitted online through EDCTPgrants.

Please click here to read the full Call for Proposals.

For more information contact

Course SNS4M @ the ABP

The AFRICA BUILD Portal proposes you a new course entitled "Social Networks for Medicine: A practical approach" (SNS4M) produced by experts of the Biomedical Informatics Group at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

This course comprises all the experience acquired during the 3-years development of the AFRICA BUILD Portal. It introduces the student to the use of Social Networking Services (SNSs) in the medical area.

SNS4M is mainly divided into three big blocks: (1) The evolution of the Web and SNSs in medicine; (2) The creation of your first SNSs; and (3) Evaluation of SNSs. This is an advanced course, so previous knowledge and experience on web programming is required. However, this course has been modularized so different backgrounds could follow it. These three blocks are independent, so a student with no knowledge on web programming could follow the first and the third blocks and thus accomplish some of the stated learning objectives.

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Understand the road to the Social Web.
  • Propose new ideas towards the implementation of Medical SNSs.
  • Install and configure Elgg (The Open Source Software Social Engine).
  • Implement complex plugins to customize Elgg to predefined requirements.
  • Define, design and code SNSs from scratch.
  • Evaluate success of communities.

SNS4M starts on September 22nd. You can find further information about the course here. Do not hesitate to enroll this course and enjoy with us!

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