RITM Fellows complete TFC Bootcamp for Data Science and Analytics
Five RITM Fellows received their certification in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) during the Training-Fellowship-Capstone (TFC) Bootcamp graduation ceremony held on 09 August 2022,

Five staff of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (DEBS) underwent and completed the Training-Fellowship-Capstone (TFC) Bootcamp for Data Science and Analytics conducted by the Center for Strategic Futures of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

The five staff, namely, Jarren Arshlle Arao, Chona Mae Daga, Jerric Rhazel Guevarra, Jenaline Javier, and Alvin Tan, were among the first batch of graduates of the TFC Bootcamp. The graduation ceremony was held at the Virata Hall of the DAP Building last 09 August 2022.

The Training-Fellowship-Capstone (TFC) Bootcamp for Data Science and Analytics is a free certification training under DAP’s Center of Excellence for Data Science and Analytics (CEDSA) program for government employees seeking to become data practitioners.

With this fellowship, I hope that they can enhance their skills in data management and analysis, and improve their competency as programmers and data managers. This Bootcamp is a good learning opportunity to improve on the services that we offer to our fellow researchers, particularly on data management,” says RITM DEBS Department Chair Dr. Marianette Inobaya on endorsing the five DEBS staff as the Institute’s Fellows for the TFC Bootcamp.  

The TFC Bootcamp consists of three components–Training, Fellowship, and Capstone. The Training stage introduces the concepts and tools in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) during the first 12 weeks. During the Fellowship, the participants undergo mentorship and networking for four weeks. Capping the fellowship stage is the presentation of the capstone project proposal to the panel of mentors for evaluation. The RITM Fellows, recognizing the opportunity for innovative use of valuable existing data of the RITM-AIDS Research Group (ARG) clinic, came up with the capstone project entitled Predicting Treatment Retention and Viral Suppression among HIV patients at RITM.

Finally, the capstone stage, which is the last ten weeks of the Bootcamp, is where Fellows are expected to produce data and technology solutions and projects. The RITM fellows developed an information system with built-in machine learning algorithm that predicts treatment retention and viral suppression among HIV patients.

The system features a dashboard to easily visualize patient characteristics and other vital information that could help improve the RITM-ARG’s clinic services. It was developed in consultation with RITM-ARG Clinic and will be incorporated to their clinical operations once completed. With this predictive system developed by the Fellows, the implementation of timely and effective interventions for patients at risk of being lost to follow-up and for patients unlikely to achieve viral suppression is now possible.

Ultimately, the TFC Bootcamp aims to build a workforce proficient in generating insights from available data and developing data solutions that are crucial in the policymaking and planning initiatives of government organizations.

The graduation ceremony was the culmination of the eight-month TFC Bootcamp which started on 15 November 2021. A total of twenty-one (21) fellows from seven government units and agencies who have completed the Bootcamp were recognized during the ceremony.

By Reina Manongsong, Communication and Engagement Office