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HIV

Field Report: Supporting TRACE in Eswatini, Rwanda, and Ethiopia

Implementing a business intelligence platform requires users to think critically about the business questions they want their data to inform and the underlying data systems that will feed their data visualizations. Blue Raster has had the unique opportunity to work with ICAP (of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health), the University of California San Francisco, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and Ministries of Health around the globe to put their data to work to end the HIV epidemic.

Ending the HIV Epidemic with Data

There has been significant progress over the past decade in the global health response to HIV, and the end of the HIV pandemic is within reach. Global health programs and Ministries of Health need high-quality, real time data in order to target the right interventions to the right populations at the right time, and we’re using Power BI and Esri ArcGIS Online to achieve these goals.

TRACE Initiative

Blue Raster and ICAP are working on the TRACE initiative (Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic), establishing HIV recent infection surveillance systems in routine HIV services to detect, characterize, monitor, and intervene on recent infection among newly diagnosed people living with HIV (PLHIV). We are supporting the implementation of Power BI and ArcGIS to provide real-time data about recent infections and to deliver this data quickly to decision makers.

HIV Data Power BI dashboard

Power BI & ArcGIS Online

  • Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets users visualize data and share insights for real-time decision making.
  • ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping and analysis solution that we’re using to make maps and perform rich geospatial analysis

Over the past few months, Blue Raster has been in the field with the ICAP team to:

  • Introduce Power BI and ArcGIS online as a data visualization platform.
  • Illustrate the analytic capabilities of the tools to the Ministries of Health and national Public Health entities

Blue Raster and ICAP walked through different implementation options with country teams, considering existing data systems and analytic tools. In addition, it was critical that HIV data get to the decision makers in a timely and usable format.

In Rwanda:

 

  • Held meetings with local implementing partners and the Ministry of Health and decided on Power BI and ArcGIS online licensing and deployment
TRACE in Rwanda
Bheki Magagula of ICAP Maps out the Rwanda Data Flow

In Eswatini:

 

  • We facilitated discussions in which the Ministry of Health team and the ICAP team came to a deployment decision quickly.
  • The teams were able to spend time working in Power BI and shaping the data in the back end of the system.
TRACE in Rwanda
Mpumelelo Ndlangamanga of ICAP works with Blue Raster on Visuals in Power BI

In Ethiopia:

  • Held a week-long training providing tailored content to data consumers, developers, and administrators (with participants from Ethiopia Public Health Institute, ICAP, and CDC)
  • Data consumers worked in Power BI and walked through decision making exercises using sample data.
  • Developers and admins walked through Power BI as a whole, from ingesting data to publishing/sharing reports to monitoring usage and incorporating end-user feedback.
TRACE in Ethiopia
Power BI Developers from Ethiopia Public Health Institute, CDC, and ICAP

These introductory workshops and trainings are just the beginning of our work with ICAP and country teams. Stay tuned to the blog for details on how this data is being used and how the trainings are adding value to the daily work of those on the front lines of ending the HIV epidemic.

Moving forward, ICAP and Blue Raster will have the opportunity to work with other countries in Sub Saharan Africa. For more information about the TRACE initiative and the countries we work in, please see https://trace-recency.org/ or visit our blog post.

The TRACE Initiative: Using real-time data to identify hot spots of current HIV transmission

The Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic (TRACE) project is a new initiative that will contribute to the global fight to reach HIV epidemic control. With funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TRACE is being implemented with technical assistance from ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Power BIPower BI Dashboard

Blue Raster is developing a dashboard and map application to visualize, analyze and track the recent infections and identify hot spots where action may be directed. The dashboard application needs to be accessible and usable by many users in many scenarios. After assessing multiple options, the Blue Raster and TRACE teams decided on the ideal combination of Microsoft Power BI and Esri ArcGIS Online.

In the first year of the project, ICAP will support the roll-out of rapid recency testing in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Through TRACE, new medical and technological innovations are combining in a powerful way:

Medical:

  • TRACE is supporting select countries to begin implementing the use of Rapid Tests for Recent Infection (RTRI) which are capable of distinguishing between recent and long-term infections.
  • The test can be completed in 20 minutes during a routine exam

Technological:

  • Powerful, accessible and easy-to-use Business Intelligence platforms are in easy reach of public health organizations.
  • The explosion in online GIS and mapping capabilities brings the ability to analyze and visualize data by geospatial attributes to the screens of more people than ever before.

TRACE dashboard

 

Blue Raster is honored to support all efforts to reach HIV epidemic control through our work on projects like TRACE and the ICAP’s Population-based HIV Assessment (PHIA) project. Today’s availability of extensible, easy-to-use and cost-effective online tools will equip future generations with accurate and complete information about burden and distribution of disease. Furthermore, this will guide decision making to ensure that resources are efficiently allocated.

 

World AIDS Day 2017: Blue Raster visualizations in PHIA Project Reports

On World AIDS Day 2017, the PHIA Project announced the release of new survey data from five countries, bringing the total number of countries with released survey data up to 7.

In 2016 Blue Raster developed and the launched the PHIA Project communications site.  More information can be found here.

 

Blue Raster works closely with the PHIA Project survey and communications teams to determine the best methods to display the data for the report audience. Find the reports and other information at the PHIA site: http://phia.icap.columbia.edu/

As in previous PHIA reports, Blue Raster  created the maps, charts and graphs that tell the story of these important HIV surveys.

Maps are created in ArcGIS Pro while the charts and graphs are created in R and finished in graphic design editing suites.

In 2018 Blue Raster will develop the PHIA Data dissemination site to provide access to online visualizations and data downloads.

The PHIA Project is led by ICAP at Columbia University – in partnership with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The project receives funding from PEPFAR- the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

PHIA Project: A Drop That Counts

Blue Raster is pleased to announce the debut of the Population HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Project website.

The PHIA Project, led by ICAP at Columbia University in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collects HIV information in sub-Saharan African countries through interviews and in-home HIV testing.

In 2014, UNAIDS set treatment goals for 2020:

  • 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
  • 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
  • 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

Blue Raster supports these goals through:

  • building the WordPress powered PHIA website
  • creating charts, maps and graphs for PHIA Factsheets
  • launching the PHIA Data site in the coming months (a CKAN based dataset visualization and download tool)

Zimbabwe 90-90-90 chart , created by Blue Raster

We’re glad to have the PHIA website up and running thanks to Blue Raster. We look forward to expanding this resource for HIV data as our project continues.” -Lory Frenkel, Communications Officer, PHIA Project