VODAN Africa Technical Coordinator, Mariam Basajja Demonstrates FAIRification of COVID-19 Data


1 min read

By Obinna Osigwe


The CRF wizard is part of the VODAN-in-a-Box toolset that helps to facilitate the capture of data related to virus outbreaks and the publication of metadata describing these datasets. It also allows the data stewards to capture a patient’s data at a local hospital or clinic.

With the successful deployment of more FAIR Data Points in Africa, the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN Africa) team reiterated their readiness to FAIRify COVID-19 data across the continent. This was demonstrated in a webinar by Mariam Basajja, the Technical Coordinator, VODAN Africa, and a Ph.D. student at the University of Leiden. The session was hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa.

The FAIRification of COVID-19 data involves the creation of a Case Report Form (CRF) using the CRF Wizard that captures clinical data from prospective patients. This CRF creates a semantic model based on the CRF model of the World Health Organization (WHO). This CRF is used globally to document COVID 19 patient data. The CRF semantic model allows computers to interpret data and allows automatic interoperation with other related data sets.

The CRF wizard is part of the VODAN-in-a-Box toolset that helps to facilitate the capture of data related to virus outbreaks and the publication of metadata describing these datasets. It also allows the data stewards to capture a patient’s data at a local hospital or clinic.

Mariam Basajja also demonstrated how to evaluate the FAIRiness of data using FAIR Evaluation Services. The system evaluates the ‘continuum of 'behaviors' exhibited by a data resource that increasingly enables machine discoverability and (re)use. The aim of the FAIR guiding principles is to ensure that data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

The Director at GO FAIR Foundation, Bert Meerman, in his contribution gave some highlights on data upload and data import, while the Executive Coordinator, VODAN Africa, Prof Francisca Oladipo spoke on the role of Data Stewards on the FAIRIfication of data.

Africa has six FDPs deployed at Kampala International University in Uganda; Data Science Nigeria and Ibrahim Badamasi University, Lapai, North-central Nigeria; Addis Ababa University and Mekelle University, both in Ethiopia; and University De Sousse in Tunisia, more FDPs are expected to be installed in Kenya and Zimbabwe in the coming weeks.

Image Credit: Leiden University Medical Center