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Swiss TPH News, September 2020
 
How Does Corona Affect Us?
 
How immune are we to SARS-CoV-2? How do we cope with the measures taken to contain the virus? What should the 'new normal' look like? Swiss TPH launched a long-term study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the population in the region of Basel, Switzerland. Researchers will assess the impact on people’s physical and mental health, well-being, work and family situation and conduct antibody testing. The data obtained will provide an important basis for decision-making on the way forward. The study is part of the national research programme Corona Immunitas and financially supported by the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft. » Read more about the study
 
 
 
People watching a drone
 
Drones to Deliver Tuberculosis Drugs in Madagascar
 
As drone technology continues to expand beyond the military and recreational sectors, it also begins to play a role in healthcare delivery. A project supported by Swiss TPH tested the usefulness of drones in transporting tuberculosis drugs and diagnostic samples in Madagascar. Results showed that in combination with other innovative interventions, drones can be both cost-effective and contribute towards the goal of universal health coverage.
 
ARTICLE
 
Withered grass
 
Health Effects of Heat
 
On behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health, Swiss TPH analysed the health consequences of the hot summer of 2019 and compared it to the summers of 2003, 2015 and 2018. The results were published in the report “Health effects of heat in Switzerland and the importance of prevention measures”, which shows that high temperatures are a strain on health and cause additional deaths, and that preventive measures contribute to protecting the population from heat-related health hazards.
 
PRESS RELEASE
 
 
Doctor with patient
Thematic Fund for Health Reform in Romania
 
Switzerland has supported the Romanian Government in health sector reform for over 20 years with the aim of reducing social disparities within the health sector, and focusing on
intensive care and emergency medicine, as well as supporting local authorities to develop integrated care solutions and increase access to care and social services in remote regions. » Watch the video on the Swiss-Romanian cooperation for health reform
 
 
Julia Bohlius
New Head of Education and Training
 
Julia Bohlius has been appointed new head of the Department of Education and Training (ET) of Swiss TPH starting in August 2020. She succeeds Nino Künzli who remains head of the 'Bachelor-Master-Doctorate' unit within ET.
» Read more
 
 
Project Updates
 
Traffic junction
Long-Term Effects of Air Pollution
 
Large-scale epidemiological studies investigating long-term health effects of air pollution can typically only consider the residential locations of the participants, but people are mobile and exposed to considerably different levels of air pollution when inside vs. outside, commuting,
recreating or working. A study of Swiss TPH, with support from the Health Effects Institute, assesses whether more sophisticated estimates of individual exposure decreases the bias in health studies. » More information
 
Microbiota-Targeted Interventions for Childhood Undernutrition
 
Undernutrition remains one of the most significant public health threats that affects about 150 million children. Swiss TPH, in collaboration with the University of Tübingen and with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is developing new tools to identify members of the human microbiota, establish a child microbial strain biobank and screen for compounds that hamper the growth of health-deteriorating bacteria strains and promote the growth of health-promoting ones. The compounds can be combined in an integrated approach with the existing nutritional rehabilitation schemes to strengthen these interventions and successfully prevent and treat childhood undernutrition in the poorest regions of this world. » Read more
 
Portfolio Review of Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement
 
Since 2015, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) has been supporting investments focused on promoting Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement (MAYE), mainly in the field of adolescence sexual and reproductive health and – more recently – climate. To capture successes and learnings to-date in engaging youth as beneficiaries and agents of change, CIFF commissioned Swiss TPH to conduct an external assessment of the MAYE investment portfolio. » Read the full report
 
Boy holding a dog
Blockchain Technology to Achieve Zero Rabies in Africa
 
Dog mediated rabies still kills more than 60’000 people every year. This indicates a significant failure of current health systems in developing countries, with very poor access for exposed patients to quality rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This lack of accessibility is mainly due to inadequate supply chains and
insufficient communication between public and animal health services. To address this problem, Swiss TPH aims to establish a blockchain intervention approach coupled with an algorithm for PEP. This “One Health” project is being conducted in close collaboration with the public and animal health authorities in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, as well as other international partners. » Read more about the project
 
 
COVID-19 Project Updates
 
Improving the Capacity of Community Health Workers in Rwanda
 
Swiss TPH, in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Government of Rwanda, has been working for more than a decade to support and strengthen health systems in the Western province of Rwanda. After seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases, Swiss TPH worked to prevent the further spread of the virus by improving the capacity of community health workers to inhibit, detect and respond to COVID-19. » Read more
 
Rapid Assessment of World Bank COVID-19 Projects
 
The World Bank supports around 100 country responses to COVID-19 through loans and grants totalling over USD 6 billion. Funding is based on the Multi-phase Programmatic Approach (MPA) model or through restructuring existing projects. Swiss TPH was mandated to assess how far the COVID-19 projects under the MPA framework have reached their overarching objective to contribute to prevention, detection and response to COVID-19, and strengthen national health systems. » More information
 
Agent-Based Tracking of Disease Spread
 
Epidemic models are essential tools to coordinate all aspects of the response to pandemics. Models can inform policy makers on strategies for vaccinations and testing, and trigger mitigation measure such as the ‘lockdowns’. Swiss TPH experts propose to use and further develop a well-established technology (agent-based models of daily travel behaviour) to simulate epidemics with considerably increased temporal and spatial resolution. The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and a collaboration with the ETH Zurich, the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and other partners. » Read more
 
Presentation slide
Course on Medical Assistance during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ukraine
 
Realising the urgent need for doctors and nurses to have access to reliable and trustworthy information in regards to COVID-19 healthcare provision, the Ukrainian-Swiss Project “Medical Education Development”, in cooperation with
local partners, conducted two seasons of the course “Medical assistance during COVID-19 pandemic”.
 
Support to the Global Fund
 
The Global Fund is providing an immediate funding of USD 500 million to help countries fight COVID-19. As part of its 14 mandates from the Local Fund Agent, Swiss TPH is currently reviewing revised detailed budgets and protocols, relevance and effectiveness of savings identified by countries, as well as detailing assumptions of new COVID-19 related activities, best value for money investments, short local surveys on quality and price of protection equipment. » More information
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
Tiger mosquito
 
13 November 2020: Closing Symposium of the TIGER Project
 
TIGER is an EU-funded project between France, Germany and Switzerland to support the cross-border monitoring and control of the Asian tiger mosquito in the Upper Rhine region. At the one-day symposium (presentations in French and German only) the project team will present the current situation regarding the spread of the tiger mosquito in the region as well as the status of the project after three years. Further representatives from science, authorities and politics present the latest findings and experiences from their region. » Register now
 
16-18 November 2020: Geneva Health Forum
 
The eighth edition of the Geneva Health Forum explores innovations put in practice in the field to improve learning and implementation cycles in Global Health, with a view to best adapt practices and improve access to health in a changing world. » Further information
 
1 December 2020: Swiss TPH Winter Symposium: From Manufacturer to Patient: Reshaping Healthcare Supply Chains
 
Strong and resilient supply chains ensure the provision of quality health products to patients, making them a central component of health systems. The availability of health commodities is vital for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Spring Symposium 2020 will share experiences of supply chain management issues in challenging environments, showcase innovations for expanding the availability of health products, and foster exchange on agile approaches for sustainable improvement of supply chains according to patient need. » More information
 
 
 
Study with Us
 
Students talking
Diploma of Advanced Studies Health Care and Management
 
The 14-week course provides international participants with the core competencies to understand and react to health challenges. They acquire a range of skills and knowledge needed
to work as a member of a health management team, particularly in low- and middle-income societies. With a focus on practical application and interactive training, participants benefit from engaging with experts from various fields. » Register now
 
Students talking
 
Supply Chain Management in Health Care
 
Many problems related to healthcare quality and safety are the result of poorly managed medicines and medical supplies. This short course introduces all elements of the supply chain cycle for medicines and other health commodities and emphasises the importance of integrating supply chain activities into overall health system management.
 
REGISTER NOW
 
Boy looks out a train window
 
Clinical Short Course on Travel Medicine
 
This advanced training course, aimed at tropical and travel medicine specialists as well as basic health care providers and pharmacists, provides participants with practical basics, updates them on travel-related health risks, prevention measures, current recommendations for vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. The course will be online and in German.
 
REGISTER NOW
 
 
Latest Publications
 
Camponovo F, Campo JJ, Le TQ, et al. Proteome-wide analysis of a malaria vaccine study reveals personalized humoral immune profiles in Tanzanian adults. eLife. » Read the full article
 
Zinsstag J, Lechenne M, Traoré A, Bonfoh B, Crump L. Towards the elimination of dog rabies in West - and Central Africa. Acta Tropica. » Read the special issue
 
 
 
 
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
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