Sci-GaIA’s 6th workshop on “e-Infrastructures and Open Science in support of Public Health slated for February 2017


The 6th workshop of the EU-funded Sci-GaIA project on “e-Infrastructures and Open Science in support of Public Health” will be held on the 8th of February 2017 at the Conference Centre of the Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop is hosted by the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology of the Kenyatta University, which is also one of the co-organisers. The other co-organisers of the workshop are the Sci-GaIA project, the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital and the African Population and Health Research Centre. Other schools of the Kenyatta University are also involved in the workshop such as the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health.

The overarching theme of the Nairobi workshop is Science Gateways(1), with a special focus on public health. Participants will discuss, debate and view demonstrations on e-Infrastructures(2) for building Open Science(3) health portals that can help preventing accidents and diseases, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, public and private organizations, communities and single individuals.

The workshop will bring together stakeholders in/representatives of:
• Healthcare Practice and Research (general physicians and surgeons);
• Transport and Security (ministry officials, transport police, motorbike riders’ associations, passenger service vehicle operators, etc.);
• Computer Science and Engineering (both from Europe and Kenya national universities);
• Higher and Tertiary Education (teachers, professors and students);
• E-Infrastructure Providers and Operators (including the Kenya National Research & Education Network);
• Education, Health and ICT Ministries;
• The EU Delegation to Kenya.

The workshop will build upon past work carried out during the e-Research Summer Hackfest and showcased at a recent Sci-GaIA event held in Dar es Salaam. The key aims are creating awareness of open science gateways and promoting the exploitation of e-infrastructures to build solutions and services that can tackle societal challenges through a multi-disciplinary approach. For this reason, the workshop will take both an applied research & technology angle and a software & service development angle.

Concrete examples will include publication, by physicians of useful knowledge that motorbike riders and passengers can consider to take greater caution in avoiding road accidents. Clinicians tend to have information that is not accessible to the public. With a public health gateway (PHG), we hope such information can be disseminated to various stakeholders, using different channels to inform decision making in road use. There are other applications of PHG, even in maternal child health, including immunisation of children, and we look forward to rigorous discussions of these issues.

Crucially, participating local universities can consider sharing the extent to which approaches for open science repositories, the use of cloud computing and e-infrastructures are reflected in their Computer Science and Software Engineering curricula.

The registration form is available on the event website and the agenda of the event will soon be published on the same page.

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