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AFRO-NETS> Statistics Course Announcement

Course on Data Handling, Biostatistics and Use of EpiInfo 6


This is the second data handling and analysis training course to be jointly 
organised and sponsored by Biomedical Research & Training Institute (BRTI) 
and Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory (DBL). 

Rationale for the course

The need for this course has been spurred by the realisation that many 
researchers at Universities, in Ministries of Health, Schools of Public 
Health and Research Institutes often collect useful information on usually 
pertinent and topical health issues with a desire to analyse that 
information and utilise the findings to design interventions, but the 
process is frustrated by inability on the part of these researchers to 
analyse that data and meaningfully utilise the findings. 

This is often caused by lack of knowledge on basic statistics and use of an 
appropriate statistical software package to analyse the research data. It 
has also been realised that most of these researchers have little or no 
opportunities to learn statistics and computers as a tool to aid them in 
their data analyses. This course provides such an opportunity for people to 
gain hands on experience on how to handle and analyse research data using 
?EpiInfo 6? software. The course is very helpful to those public health 
practitioners, epidemiologists and medical and social science researchers 
who have little experience in computer based data handling and statistical 

Course objective

The course aims to provide knowledge and skills for data management and 
computer based analysis and testing of data from field studies.  

Who is it for?

The course is targeted at health professionals, MSc or PhD students, young 
scientists, researchers and officers in epidemiology units, departments in 
Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Social Welfare, Population etc., 
research institutions, university departments and schools of public health 
in the SADC Region. Anyone in these categories in the various institutions 
is welcome to apply. Aspiring candidates should have a basic knowledge of 
computers and statistics. 

Course Structure

The 4-week course is in two phases. Statistics is taught during the first 
two weeks of the course and then the software part during the second half.

During the first half of the course the following topics are covered: 
- introduction to statistics and probability theory
- chi-square tests, tests for skewness and kurtosis
- Student's t-test, one-way analysis of variance,
- regression and correlation analysis.

During the last part of the course students will be given an introduction 
to computers followed by an in-depth introduction to ?EpiInfo 6? and the 
various facilities in the software package:
- data entry, data transformation, 
- selecting, weighing and ordering cases, handling of files,
- analysis of data, 
- creation of charts from ?EpiInfo 6?.  

Course facilitation and materials

The principal lecturers for the course are Ms. Shaun Clarke from DBL, 
Denmark and Mr. Fred Salum from the National Institute for Medical 
Research, Tanzania. They will be supported by four assistants with vast 
knowledge in computer based statistical analysis and data handling. 
Teaching is in the form of lectures and practical exercises and the 
teaching is based on a specifically written manual by F. Msadallah Salum, 
S.E. Clarke and H. Madsen: Data Handling and Biostatistics: Epidemiology 
and Statistical Analysis Using EpiInfo. Every participant will be given 
this manual. In addition, each student will be given a copy of Neave, H.R. 
(1981): Elementary Statistics Tables, Unwin Hyman, to be used during the 

Course fees

The course fee is US$ 4,897.  This includes:

- Return airfare
- Hotel accommodation in Harare
- Full board accommodation at course venue
- Hotel accommodation during social events during two weekends (one in 
  Harare and one in Kariba)
- Course material (lecture notes, calculator, booklet of statistical
- stationery)
- A weekly per diem equivalent to US$ 50 (to cover local transportation in
  home country, laundry, drinks and miscellaneous expenses during the 
  course and terminal costs upon leaving Harare after the course)
- Visa expenses.

A limited number of scholarships to deserving applicants are available from 
the course sponsors and these cover the course fee and airfare travel from 
the nearest international airport to and from Harare. As these scholarships 
are limited, aspiring candidates are encouraged to seek sponsorship from 
the usual sponsoring agencies.

Payment procedure

All fees are payable by cheque directly to BRTI before commencement of the 
course. Payment by bank drafts or travellers' cheque may be accepted at the 
course venue.


Closing date for applications is 21 February 1997. 

For further information and application forms please contact:

Course Co-ordinator,
Biomedical Research & Training Institute (BRTI)
P.O.Box CY 1753
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263-4-307899
Fax: +263-4-307898
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