The African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR) initiative is an effort to strengthen the technology base of leading educational institutions throughout Africa and unify software developers and specialists in education, health, and business to produce business and institution-level software solutions while simultaneously building software design, development, and support for higher education.
In this effort, the AVOIR network is applying information technology tools to assist the veterinary services of Ghana, Uganda, and Rwanda improve the collection, storage, analysis, and dissemination of animal disease data.
The overarching objective of the Animal Health Information System (AHIS) project is deployment of a comprehensive system for surveillance of animal health in Africa. Engaging the AVOIR network to support this effort offers benefits on two levels:
It provides a business opportunity for AVOIR to collaborate and operate as a network; and it provides the AHIS project and veterinary services with in-country technical expertise for the deployed system.
There are two phases of the AHIS project, namely; ICT (Computer hardware and Internet Connection) Needs assessment within the different districts of Uganda plus establishing an internet connection to the selected districts; and Studying the effectiveness of the installed AHIS system in the improvement of Animal Health in Uganda
This aspect of the AHIS project is to identify available connectivity and establish connections between the field offices and the central repository. Currently most, if not all, transmission of data from the field to veterinary services headquarters in Uganda is via paper forms. This is typically a monthly report from the regional or district offices to headquarters, and in some cases reports are delayed up to six months. Initiating connectivity, via the Internet and currently available ICT (information communication technology) infrastructure, from the regional/district offices to the central database would improve the speed and quality of the data flow from the field tremendously.
The AVOIR team consists of University of Western Cape, Makerere University and University of Ghana. Dr. Jude Lubega and Mr. Dickson Muyomba are to implement this project on behalf of AVOIR Makerere University.