Aids Prevention Initiative Nigeria

Workshop Reports
  Data Management Workshop

Boston, USA
August 12-16, 2002

Workshop Summary Report

Also see photo gallery.

The AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria [APIN] held a workshop on "Data Management in Public Health Projects" at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA from August 12 – 16, 2002. The participants reviewed practices and procedures that will help in the development of high quality data administration for their clinical and intervention projects. The workshop exercises provided relevant examples of data collection, handling and quality control. The workshop was organized in recognition of the fact that as ‘the scale and complexity of a project increases in terms of objectives, number of staff, and interrelated project components, it becomes more important to make data management an explicit guided activity’.

The participants, 10 Nigerians and one Senegalese, were made up of APIN’s principal investigators as well as physicians, virologists and institution directors from APIN’s current target states – Lagos, Plateau, and Oyo.

The majority of the workshop was devoted to general data management topics as well as lectures dedicated to examples of practical data management experience from other African countries. Dr. Olugbenga Obasanjo, of APIN, chaired the workshop sessions. Various tours and visits were arranged for the group at HIV clinical research sites at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.

APIN’s Director and Principal Investigator, Prof. Phyllis Kanki welcomed the group and provided the opening remarks. She gave an update of the progress of APIN. The overall goal of APIN remains largely the same: to curb the growth of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria through surveillance, research and targeted prevention with the concurrent development of capacity in Nigerian institutions. Prof. Kanki also gave an updated on APIN’s workshop and training program. This Data Management Workshop was suggested as a priority at the February 2002 APIN Advisory Council Meeting. She reiterated that APIN plans to organize 3-4 workshops per year and the APIN Advisory Council, Nigerian government partners, and working group members will determine the topics. She concluded that an HIV Vaccine Think Tank is in preparation for Nigeria in February of 2003 and a second Ethics in HIV/AIDS research will also be conducted in 2002-2003.

Dr. Geoffrey Eisen, a Data Manager/Analyst in Prof. Kanki’s laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health, gave a 3-day intensive presentation on the basics of data management in the context of public health projects. Topics included: Project systems analysis, Data collection and coding, Database design, Monitoring and maintaining data integrity, Data accessibility and dissemination, Data documentation, Data security, and Project management feedback. Dr. Eisen dedicated his final session to a tutorial in the Filemaker Pro database software. Filemaker Pro was distributed to each institution represented at the workshop.

On the fourth day of the workshop, several Harvard School of Public Health faculty and researchers presented data on other country experience in Data Management. Dr. Richard Marlink, Executive Director of the Harvard AIDS Institute, presented the ARV program in Botswana. Dr. Marlink also gave a brief summary of the Institute’s Enhanced Care Initiative and handed out CD-Rom’s of their KITSO AIDS Training Program that provides quality, multi-disciplinary, sustainable and standardized training in HIV and treatment, created specifically for Botswana’s health professionals. Dr. Mame Awa Toure, a researcher from Senegal in Prof. Kanki’s Laboratory, gave a presentation on the Senegalese national HIV treatment program under the aegis of the FANN hospital in Senegal. Prof. George Seage is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and is co-PI for the Harvard HIV Vaccine Trial Site in Botswana. He discussed the preparation of the Vaccine Trials in Botswana and its relevance to Nigeria. Dr. Saidi Kapiga, Assistant Professor of Reproductive Health in the Department of Population and International Health, highlighted the Harvard-Tanzania Collaborative Research Program by presenting 3 studies: family planning studies, perinatal outcomes in pregnant women, Moshi reproductive health program.

Dr. Job Ailuogwemhe, APIN fellow working in Prof. Kanki’s lab, gave a presentation on the "Comparative Assessment Of The Sensitivity/Specificity of Capillus and Genie II Rapid Tests Under Field Condition." The aim of the study was to see if the sensitivity/specificity of the two tests would be compromised by mishandling of both tests kits and/or samples, as can be seen in the field or remote setting where facilities for storage of both samples and tests kits may be inadequate.

Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello and Mr. Hank Head from Therapy Edge Inc. gave a demonstration of their AIDS treatment data management software. TherapyEdge uses an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) engine to deliver customized decision support directly to clinicians. This AI technology makes millions of calculations each second - rapidly analyzing patient data to sort, categorize and rank customized, ARV therapy options. These decisions are based on individual patient-specific information. The AI engine uses information gleaned from the patient's history and the knowledge base to provide specific therapy options based on anticipated efficacy for that particular individual.

Six physicians from the group visited the pre-clinic sessions of the Children’s Hospital AIDS Program (CHAP) with Dr. Sandra Burchett and Dr. Charlotte Mao. Later the whole workshop group visited Dr. Burchett and her staff for an overview of the current clinical trials in pediatric and perinatal HIV interventions. All the physicians in the group visited the HIV clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Philip Norris, a research fellow on staff, gave a brief tour and overview and Theresa Flynn, nurse practioner, gave a presentation on the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).

Prof. Phyllis Kanki closed the meeting by graciously thanking the group for their participation. Along with a workshop certificate, participants were given a copy of Prof. Kanki’s new edition of the book "AIDS in Africa," as well as a copy of the companion CD-Rom of the Joint Workshop on ARV Therapy and STD Management that was held in Dakar, Senegal in March 2002.

Overall, participants thought the workshop was useful and provided a good opportunity to network and share information with PIs from other parts of Nigeria. Some comments made by participants were:

  • "This workshop will help improve the quality, integrity and security of our data. Data referral and analysis will also improve significantly."

  • " The main points of this workshop will be communicated to other members of the team and we shall be working together to better understand and use the database."

  • "This workshop has been very useful as it has brought us all together for exchange of information as to what is going on at each site."

  • "It will be beneficial if a similar workshop can be organized in Nigeria to involve a larger group of data managers. These managers should be drawn from public and private institutions/organizations in the health sector."
For More Information: AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria
Harvard School of Public Health, 651 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 USA
Tel: +617-432-3297 Fax: +617-432-3298 Email: