Together with the academic African Partners from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Muhimbili in Tanzania and Makerere in Uganda, Cineca has set up MEDISHARE, an online/offline platform to collect and analyze epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB in the three sub-Saharan countries.
Cineca was established by the Italian Ministry of University and Research as a non-profit Consortium for high performance computing and ICT. Cineca is the most important supercomputing centre in Italy and ranks among the top 50 sites in the worldwide supercomputing organizations (www.top500.org ) .
The peculiarity of the project is that all data are collected in one central database across countries and across diseases. The technology used was specifically developed to allow data collection in resource poor countries where Internet is not available.
Medishare has collected data for almost 16000 patients, across three African countries using one standardized data collection procedure. New expertise was created on the use of online/offline health data management using the “train the trainer” strategy and over 80 people were awarded a knowledge certificate.
Medishare was recognized in line with MDGs, and the final Conference in Nairobi was hosted at the United Nations Office. The African academic world, local Health Ministries and hospitals have shown great interest in Medishare for its support to health data management and decision making processes.
Medishare represents a sustainable model for Health Data Management in Africa as it cuts costs on local infrastructure and technological obsolescence by using centralized shared services (cloud computing) and allowing its re-use for different countries or diseases. Standardization of data allows benchmarking across hospitals and stimulates training on health data management which is so crucial for improving health conditions in Africa.
Article prepared by Marisa De Rosa, Project Coordinator.