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Access to critical data to fight and contain COVID-19

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Mar 19, 2020

By the Philips Foundation team

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philips Foundation is teaming up with GO FAIR Foundation and Kampala International University to enable distributed access to critical data needed from Africa to fight and contain the novel coronavirus that is spreading across the globe.

Kampala, Uganda — The initiative, as part of an established virus outbreak data network, has been launched under the urgent need to ensure Africa’s health professionals and data scientists to be equipped with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to discover meaningful epidemic outbreaks.


The initiative is supported by the Philips Foundation, whose mission is to provide access to care for underserved communities. “With this donation, the Philips Foundation supports the establishment of a Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN), to ensure that data-intelligence is available to support an effective response to the new coronavirus”, says Margot Cooijmans, director of the Philips Foundation.


The donation will allow the creation of a system that improves the findability, accessibility, interoperability and reuse of digital assets, including data from African health systems. This strengthens preparedness and provides capabilities to enhance the digital innovation of African health systems, helping to identify epidemic outbreaks to fight and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.


For the full press release, please go to

About the Philips Foundation

The mission of the Philips Foundation is to reduce healthcare inequality by providing access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities through innovation, reflecting our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) and 17 (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development). We do this by deploying Philips expertise, innovative products and solutions, by collaborating with key partners around the world, and by providing financial support for innovations that help improve healthcare provision in a sustainable way. More information on the Philips Foundation can be found at

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About Kampala International University

Kampala International University (KIU) is a private, not-for-profit institution based in Uganda. The University which started in 2001, as a typical degree-awarding institution has now grown into the leading Private University in Uganda and is currently ranked as the fourth-best out of 65 universities in the country according to the January 2020 Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. The University operates a multi-campus system which consists of two campuses in Uganda (The Main campus in Kampala and the Western Campus in Ishaka-Bushenyi); one other university in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. KIU offers over 150 educational programmes which are all accredited by Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education and regional professional bodies, agencies including the EAC. More info about KIU can be found at

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About the GO FAIR Foundation

The GO FAIR Foundation (GFF) was established in February 2018 as a separate legal entity under Dutch law in order to support the FAIR principles and metrics, and the GO FAIR International Support & Coordination Office (GFISCO). It is GFF's mission to play an important role in the development of an Internet of FAIR Data & Services. The Foundation’s main focal point is to develop certifications for a variety of GO FAIR tools and services. In addition, GFF participates in (European) projects like EOSC Secretariat and EOSC Nordic, implementing the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and bringing forward the Foundation’s expertise. Besides these two roles, GFF sets out to foster FAIR market developments by inviting market players to actively participate in start-up initiatives and FAIR pilot projects in order to demonstrate the value of datasharing and datavisiting based upon these principles. More information can be found at

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