Mr Ahmed Eltayeb Elbushra

AIMS 2007
Lecturing and looking to create solutions for data inefficiencies and the inadequate digital health infrastructure in Africa

Mr Ahmed Eltayeb Elbushra, from Sudan, completed a Master’s Degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Khartoum. Upon graduating, the university hired him as an assistant lecturer in Computer Sciences. It was during his Master’s degree that he first heard about AIMS. Some of the faculty in his department had graduated from the AIMS inaugural class in 2003, and spoke highly of the institute. After AIMS founder, Prof. Neil Turok, visited his university he decided to submit his application to AIMS, hoping it would help him to fulfil his dream of completing a PhD in Europe.

After graduating from AIMS in 2007, he returned to teaching at the University of Khartoum, and he introduced a foundation course in open source software for his students. Access to this software allowed his students to continue their studies and conduct research in Sudan.

In 2013, he received an Islamic Development Bank Merit Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom. He is currently earning a PhD in Computer Sciences through a joint program between the University of Sussex and University College of London.

“My research interest and area of expertise is in medical informatics and databases. With the growth of primary care database systems and their associated patient information management systems, electronic patient records (EPR)  is rapidly expanding in use throughout the UK. This in turn is producing large amounts of generated free text data by general practitioners. This mass of generated free text data raises many significant research questions. For example, in the interest of record classification, can we mine the lexical, syntactic, semantic and other types of features from these electronic patient records, and come up with a more accurate model of document classification? As part of my PhD, I will be conducting this study within the context of EPR, focusing on finding suitable ways to model the text-rich patient record.”

“After completing my PhD, I will return to the University of Khartoum, where I will continue teaching and conducting research. My ambition is to become a leading expert in my field, and then using the knowledge that I acquired working with British EPRs to build my own company in Sudan.  I want to design software that can collect patients’ statistical data for Sudan and other African countries. By changing the way in which data is kept, it will allow for easier access to patients records.  With increased access to this information, doctors will be capable of making better and more informed decisions, and ultimately be able save more lives.”

“Through my combined experiences, I believe I am well placed to create solutions to data inefficiencies and the inadequate digital health infrastructure in Africa. AIMS has given me the skills, tools, confidence, expertise and opportunity to craft these solutions and contribute to African development.”

Ahmed believes that in Africa we don’t realise the importance of mathematics and its applicability to different fields. For example, in the financial sector, mathematics is key to conducting feasibility studies and facilitating efficient resource management strategies.  In public health, mathematics can create models to control or reduce the spread of diseases, including malaria. Instead, there is a belief that if one studies mathematics one can only become a teacher and there are no practical applications.

Story and photo courtesy of Matteo Besana