Data management

Data management has served as a central pillar of the RHSP research and service activities since the program’s inception. The section is entrusted with planning and ensuring quality data collection, processing raw data and turning it into analyzed or analyzable, generated, relevant and reusable data, and the storage of data during and after research or service activities (archiving). The section is organized to have 5 tracks that include;

Database programming, the Cohort, Community Services, Laboratory Data Management and NIH funded studies. It uses Visual FoxPro, SQL and MS Access as the main programming languages ensuring dynamic password protected access to the data processing and management system. DataFax is used for NIH funded studies. The section ensures quality and efficient management of staff, equipment and database applications by ensuring each study has layers of study management staff, including database administrators, data managers, data entry clerks and filing clerks, all with clearly defined roles. In total, as of January 2016, the section has 2 Database programmers, 4 Data Management Officers and 10 data entry clerks with some doubling as data filing clerks. All use desktops of laptops running on Windows 7 or 8.

Electronic copies of databases are stored on servers, both in Kalisizo and in Entebbe. The section in collaboration with NIH has constructed a DataMart database that contains longitudinal data of 16 completed survey rounds accessed by Uganda and US based Data managers and serving as the primary source of cohort data (survey data and lab results). The section will continuously update this database with subsequent completed and cleaned survey round data. It is also able to link cohort participants who are in the HIV care program to their clinical data. Backups and archives of reusable and analyzable datasets are in Entebbe at Uganda Virus Research Institute and also at Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities in the USA.
This is also a major pillar of the RHSP as it provides statistical support to all the studies. The section is involved right from proposal development, data management and processing to analysis, interpretation and report writing.

It supports authors to prepare presentations and manuscripts for publication by helping with data analysis. It is manned by three staff with Masters and a PhD qualification. The section is currently collaborating with ALPHA and INDEPTH networks performing multisite/multi country meta-analysis. It mainly uses STATA for data analysis.
All study and service data collection forms are stored in lockable access limited stores both in Kalisizo field station and in Entebbe at Uganda Virus Research Institute. The section uses a system of recording all forms received from the field and clinic activities, this being coordinated by filing clerks, arranging them in order (according to household number within a community or date when administered) and putting them in clearly marked shelves, indicating study name, study cycle (e.g. survey round) and community/clinic name.

The stores are only accessed by the responsible study filing clerk or study coordinator/PI. Before forms are shipped to UVRI, in Entebbe, an electronic record is first created with form identifiers. A printout of the form identification is sent together with the forms. In Entebbe, there is a filing clerk who receives the forms, confirms that all on the list have been received before storing them in clearly marked shelves. In case there are any inconsistencies, these are reported to the Kalisizo based filing clerk for following up. Whenever there is a need for a form in Entebbe, the filing clerk in Kalisizo sends details of the form to Entebbe, where it is picked and this is confirmed in Kalisizo when it is received. All movement of forms between Kalisizo and Entebbe is electronically captured.

Our Location

The RHSP is located at the Uganda Virus Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Entebbe (~15 minutes from Entebbe International airport) and in Kalisizo, Rakai District (about 2.30 hours from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda) where the Program has extensive field operations.