NAIROBI (XINHUA) – Kenya on Wednesday officially launched a multi-disciplinary centre to support the control, elimination, and eradication of infectious diseases in the east and central African regions.
The Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (CEMA) aims at enhancing data-driven decision making. “Genuine data is power and knowledge. Managing a public health emergency of such proportions calls for a lot of sobriety in making rapid and meaningful decisions,” Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Education George Magoha said during the centre’s launch in Nairobi.
He urged researchers to employ a multidisciplinary approach in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic using relevant data to make effective decisions.
Acting Director General of Health Partick Amoth cited the need for accurate and focussed health data to inform policy interventions, adding that the government acknowledges the value of science in managing the pandemic and will stick with science until the pandemic is overcome.
Stephen Kiama Gitahi, Vice Chancellor at the University of Nairobi said that data analytics helps decision-makers to predict the future with more accuracy and more importantly, it provides institutions with creative solutions to business problems without errors of human interventions.
COVID-19 pandemic has made data accuracy a major element in all local research and CEMA has also trained young researchers to manage the situations.
The University of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences-based CEMA, brings together a multidisciplinary group of epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, clinicians, mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists, and data scientists from the University and partner institutions, collaborating with public health agencies, governments, and non-governmental bodies.
The centre will also train health workers and post-graduate fellows through short courses that will enhance a better understanding of how to translate data insights into policies that improve public health.