Africa is the youngest continent in the world, with 60% of its population under the age of 25. The span between early life to young adulthood represents a critical window where biological, environment and psychosocial events can significantly impact long- term uzima, which means health/well-being in Swahili.
Coupled with the recent technological advances and the enormous volumes of data collected in Africa, there is an unprecedented opportunity to leverage data science to identify and improve the health trajectories of young Africans. However, significant analytical and computational barriers persist that impede our ability to use this information to change care at the community and individual level.
Our proposed Research Hub, UZIMA-DS, aims to change this narrative by UtiliZing health Information for Meaningful impact in East Africa through Data Science. We will create a scalable and sustainable platform to apply novel approaches to data assimilation and advanced artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML)-based methods to serve as early warning systems to address critical health issues impacting young Africans in two domains: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Mental Health.
Our Hub addresses three critical needs across the translational spectrum of data science:
- Harmonization of multimodal data sources for meaningful use and analyses
- Leveraging temporal patterns of data to identify trajectories through prediction modelling using AI/ML-based methods
- Engaging with key stakeholders to identify pathways for dissemination and sustainability of these models into target communities