Cuba joins countries trained in Software R for optimizing data analysis for public health emergencies

Cuba joins countries trained in Software R for optimizing data analysis for public health emergencies
Fecha de publicación: 
13 May 2023
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The third training course for countries in the Americas on Software R, coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), is taking place this week in Havana. With this, Cuba joins the first countries in the Region to receive the training, along with Guatemala and Paraguay.

Cuba is now the third country in the Americas to be trained on Software R by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). The workshop is taking place this week in Havana. The first two countries which received the training were Guatemala and Paraguay.

Software R is a programming tool for data analysis, thus the objective of this course is to support epidemiological analysis by learning and using R environment tools that are useful for the preparation of epidemiological bulletins and the optimization of data analysis routines for public health emergencies, allowing a more agile response.

The course consists of two face-to-face weeks, the initial and the final, with an intermediate month of teamwork and virtual tutoring. In addition, as a final evaluation exercise, each team presents an epidemiological report based on its own data and prepared using the tools learned.

The training happening in Havana began on May 8 and will end on June 16. This training has been organized by PAHO HQ and the country office in Brazil, with the collaboration of two Cuban facilitators who have experience in the use of the software, belonging to the "Pedro Kourí" Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) and the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM). 

Dr. Wildo Navegantes, from the Health Emergencies Information and Risk Assessment Unit (HIM) of the PAHO/WHO Department of Emergencies (PHE), Dr. Walter Ramalho, technical consultant of PAHO Brazil and Mr. Pastor Perez, technical consultant of HIM, facilitated the training.

Among the participants were epidemiologists, geographers, biostatisticians, informaticians, and specialists in General Comprehensive Medicine from the National Health Surveillance Center of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), as well as colleagues from provincial offices in Havana, Cienfuegos, Pinar del Río, Las Tunas and the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth (MEIJ). In addition, three epidemiologists from the Colombian health system joined the group. 

The collaborative environment among the participants, the exchange of experiences, and the perspective of optimizing work time in the future facilitate the challenge of learning R Software, which can be complex for those who are not familiar with the programming language.


In addition to improve the quality of their functions, participants will be able to help other specialists to learn about these tools and use them.

This course has been offered in several countries in the Region since 2022, as an initiative of the Organization to improve the countries' surveillance capabilities in the management of data in public health emergencies. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Paraguay have also received this training.

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