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Malaria Research in Africa: Building the Network and Connecting the Dots By Julia Royall Chief, International Programs U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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Presentation on theme: "Malaria Research in Africa: Building the Network and Connecting the Dots By Julia Royall Chief, International Programs U.S. National Library of Medicine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Malaria Research in Africa: Building the Network and Connecting the Dots By Julia Royall Chief, International Programs U.S. National Library of Medicine Presented to NSF IT for Africa Workshop Arlington, Virginia January 27, 2005

2 A Brief Overview of MIMCom

3 Mandate from Malaria Researchers at seminal meeting in Dakar, Senegal in 1997 Full access to Internet Access to medical literature

4 Internet Access 19 sites in 9 countries VSAT shared bandwidth Local ISPs New broadband solutions

5 Training Workshops: Technical Training Searching for Researchers Kilifi, Kenya: June 2002

6 Document Delivery Service

7 Websites Supporting Research Agendas

8 MIMCom Partnerships

9 MIMCom Web Site Advisory Committee Abdoulaye Djimde Mali Andrew Githeko Kenya Louis Gouagna Kenya Saadou si. IssifouGabon Moses Kamya Uganda Fred Kironde Uganda Kojo Koram Ghana Martha Lemnge Tanzania Wilfred MbachamCameroon Michel MissinouGabon David Ofori-AdjeiGhana Abdoulaye Djimde Mali Andrew Githeko Kenya Louis Gouagna Kenya Saadou si. IssifouGabon Moses Kamya Uganda Fred Kironde Uganda Kojo Koram Ghana Martha Lemnge Tanzania Wilfred MbachamCameroon Michel MissinouGabon David Ofori-AdjeiGhana

10 Internal & External Evaluations Independent Panel charged by MIM Secretariat at NIH in September 2002 with conducting an independent review of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria. MIM Secretariat Evaluation, survey of researchers working in Africa conducted in December NLM Evaluation

11 Evaluation Conclusions MIMCom is making a significant difference in the professional performance of individual researchers Collaborations with colleagues Short courses Proposals written and funded Papers written and published Clinical trials access Counteracting isolation & self-esteem issues Africa-to-Africa connection needs strengthening

12 The MIMCom Network Today

13 Locations of MIMCom Sites

14 Potential MIMCom Network

15 Technical How to connect the sites? Behavioral Usage like a gas expanding to fill space Appropriate use of a limited resource

16 Refocusing MIMCom on Medical Informatics

17 Dots on a Map Successful Outcomes

18 Professor Ayoade Oduola Functional Coordinator WHO/TDR “ We have to connect the dots.” Professor Ayoade Oduola, Functional Coordinator: Basic and Strategic Research and Manager: Committee on Pathogenesis and Applied Genomics at WHO/TDR; former Director of the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training at the College of Medicine. “ We have to connect the dots.” Professor Ayoade Oduola, Functional Coordinator: Basic and Strategic Research and Manager: Committee on Pathogenesis and Applied Genomics at WHO/TDR; former Director of the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training at the College of Medicine.

19 Dr. C.T. Happi Malaria Researcher “ The most important part of these experiments is analysis of the data generated. And we cannot perform this analysis if we don’t have strong internet connectivity, because we definitely need access to the databases.”

20 Fundamental Considerations Can IT intervention make a difference in the morbidity & mortality of malaria? Is the goal more dots on a map or a change in health? Is the network an internet café or a scientific tool? How do we use the tool? What actions need to be performed in order to reach the desired outcome (better health)?

21 Information Technology A challenge A responsibility Not an answer

22 Scientific Aims Antimalarial Drug Resistance Network: To share raw data Severe Malaria in African Children Network: To get large samples

23 Process Aims To develop collaborations with other MIM PI’s Vector Resistance Network: To coordinate 8 African institutes Noguchi & Buea: regular consultation with collaborators

24 Outcomes Strong researchers Strong research sites Improvement in health & medicine As a result of this, this happened As a contribution to this, this happened

25 Goals Supporting research agendas Africanizing MIMCom leadership Identifying talented individuals Providing means to increase relevant skills

26 Malaria Research Network Enhanced Connectivity directly to the satellite or via ISP Information Resources Training IT Workshops PI Workshops Searching/Information access Tools Websites FTP servers Agents Caching Evaluation Quantitative/Qualitative End to End Network Performance Research Agendas Antimalaria Drug Resistance Network Severe Malaria in African Children Better Health

27 Communication Links Between Partners in Research Decision Makers Communities Health Workers Researchers Schematic by Andrew Kitua

28 Network Snapshots

29 Dr. Andrew Githeko Senior Scientist & Climatologist Kenya “ Now we have a system that uses scientific facts to predict the system. Before we were just guessing and we had no idea what was going to happen. ”

30 “ Then you ask yourself as a young person, ‘ Well, people have made it in Navrongo, why don ’ t you stay there? ’” Nathan Mensah Data manager Ghana

31 Tom Oluoch Systems Operator Kenya “ We look at a project that is of interest and just use that to enlighten the scientific community about the benefits of using the IT to improve the project. ”

32 “ We are talking of empowering our communities, empowering individuals in Africa with appropriate information so that they can take decisions about their own health. About their well-being. ” Regina Shakakata Medical librarian

33 “The internet is a reflection of our society and that mirror is going to be reflecting what we see. If we do not like what we see in that mirror the problem is not to fix the mirror, we have to fix society.” — Internet pioneer Vint Cerf

34 MIMCom

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36 “W hen s pider w ebs u nite, t hey c an t ie u p a l ion.” - Ethiopian adage “W hen s pider w ebs u nite, t hey c an t ie u p a l ion.” - Ethiopian adage Picture by: Gerry Killeen

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