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Swiss TPH News, December 2020
Swiss TPH Season's Greeting 2021
Season's Greetings
There is no doubt that 2020 will go down in history as the year of COVID-19. Despite the devastating effect of the pandemic, there is a silver lining: the power of science, partnership and collaboration has moved mountains over the last months.

We would like to thank all of our employees and partners for their exceptional commitment and wish everyone a relaxing holiday season and all the best for 2021.
Doctor in a test centre
Largest Clinical Trial in Africa to Treat COVID-19
African countries and an international network of research institutions have joined forces to launch the largest COVID-19 clinical trial in mild-to-moderate outpatients in 13 countries in Africa. The ANTICOV clinical trial aims to identify treatments that can be used to treat mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 early and prevent spikes in hospitalisation that could overwhelm already overburdened health systems.
Mobile pastoralists in Chad
Increased Access to Health for Mobile Pastoralists in Chad
Population mobility is a result of globalisation that will likely continue to increase. The EXPAND project aims to extend neglected tropical diseases and COVID-19 surveillance and control to mobile pastoralists in Chad. By increasing access to health information and services, and promoting integrated interventions, the project works towards disease elimination and universal health coverage.
Plane flying over a city
Airplane Noise at Night Can Trigger Cardiovascular Death
For the first time, a study demonstrated that loud night-time noise from airplanes can trigger a cardiovascular death within two hours. Researchers from Swiss TPH and partners compared mortality data with acute night-time noise exposure around Zurich airport between 2000 and 2015. The results of the study have been published in the renowned European Heart Journal. » Read the press release
Couple going for a walk
Prioritizing Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus is not only a risk for our physical health, but also affects our mental health and emotional well-being. Nicole Probst-Hensch, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Swiss TPH, talks about the effects on the different population groups, how research can contribute, and what she does to maintain her own mental well-being.
Children watching a drone in Madagascar
Winter Symposium: Reshaping Healthcare Supply Chains
Strong and resilient supply chains are a central component of health systems as they ensure the provision of quality health products and vaccines to patients. At the virtual Swiss TPH Winter Symposium on 1 December, experts discussed how we can achieve universal access to high quality, affordable medicines and vaccines, also in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tobias Schindler
R. Geigy Award 2020
Tobias Schindler has received the R. Geigy Award 2020 worth CHF 20,000 in recognition of his achievements in the development of new diagnostic tools in the fight against diseases such as malaria and COVID-19 in Africa. The R. Geigy Foundation presents this award every two years to young researchers who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements in the field of neglected tropical diseases or public health.
» Read more about Tobias Schindler's work
Women waiting in front of a doctor's office
Iron Infusion Effective to Treat Anaemia in Rural Africa
Iron-deficiency anaemia is a major concern in low-income settings, especially for women. Swiss TPH researchers found that iron infusion was feasible, safe and - in contrast to the standard iron-deficiency anaemia treatment of oral iron tablets - effective in Tanzania. This is the first study to prove the benefits and safety of iron infusion in a low-income setting.
Young children in Laos
SNSF Eccellenza Grant for Pascale Vonaesch
Pascale Vonaesch was awarded a prestigious Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The grant will allow Vonaesch and her team to further investigate the role of the microbiota and to better understand the effect early life malnutrition has on metabolic diseases. The study will mainly take place in Lao PDR.
Medical staff in the COVCO bus
Antibody Testing Taken on the Road
The COVCO-Basel study is assessing the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population of the cantons Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft. A bus now brings the study team closer to the participants and allows antibody testing in people’s hometowns. COVCO-Basel is part of the national research programme Corona Immunitas. » Read more about COVCO-Basel

Close-up of an Asian tiger mosquito
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. On 13 November, Swiss TPH hosted a virtual symposium, where the project team presented on the current situation of the spread of the tiger mosquito in the region, the project results as well as innovations in the fight against the tiger mosquito.
Agricultural land in south africa
Pesticide Exposure Associated with Headaches in Children
Children living in agricultural areas are likely to be exposed to a variety of pesticides during their daily lives, which may impair their neurodevelopment. The most vulnerable populations are families and farmworkers in low- and middle-income countries. A new study found that children in South Africa who engage in pesticide-related farm activities often have more headaches and possibly lower cognitive performance.
Project Updates
Health effects graphic
How Air Pollutants Affect Our Health
Every day, an adult breathes 12,000 – 15,000 litres of air. In addition to vital oxygen, pollutants also enter our lungs and airways through the nose and throat. Swiss TPH has compiled health effects of criteria pollutants in an interactive figure. » Explore the graphic now
Support to the openIMIS Initiative
Swiss TPH will continue to support the global openIMIS Initiative by maintaining and technically supporting the global legacy application of openIMIS that is currently operational in five countries. In addition, Swiss TPH will develop an online training platform that allows self-paced learning to those interested in using openIMIS, and support expanding to additional countries looking to implement openIMIS. » Read more about openIMIS
Health worker in Côte d'Ivoire
Paper Based Health Information System in Comprehensive Care (PHISICC)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation further supports the “Health Facility Labs” initiative in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. For three months, Swiss TPH will visit health facilities to understand how health workers interact with the new PHISICC tools. Using a Human Centred Design approach, the team will produce new versions of selected tools that are tailored to health worker’s needs. » Read more about PHISICC
Manipulation of Human Immunity by Parasitic Worms
Schistosoma are excellent evaders of human immunity, as demonstrated by their survival in human blood for up to a decade. However, it remains largely unclear as to how they protect themselves against the constant attack by the human immune system. Swiss TPH researchers study the interactions between the human immune system and S. mansoni to better understand Schistosoma. The findings will also help identify and design novel treatment options. » Read more
Citizen Survey on Chemical Exposure in Europe and Switzerland
Every day, people are exposed to chemical substances that are widely used in consumer products. But how do these affect our health?
The Human Biomonitoring Programme HBM4EU investigates how and to what extent these chemicals enter the body. Your opinion counts: take part in a survey today for safe chemical management in Switzerland and the EU! » Participate now
Upcoming Events
Swiss Implementation Science Network (IMPACT)
On 22 January 2021, the 1st IMPACT conference will celebrate the official launch of the Swiss Implementation Science Network with keynote lectures and a table discussion, followed by a virtual Implementation Science Masterclass series with contributions from international experts starting on 27 January 2021. » Register now
ISEE Young 2021
ISEE Europe and Swiss TPH are hosting the 4th Early Career Researchers Conference on Environmental Epidemiology on 18 and 19 February 2021. ISEE Young targets early career researchers to promote scientific communication, foster collaborations and exchange about experiences and new ideas in the field of environmental epidemiology. Can't attend? There will be a live stream of the final round of speed talks on 19 February. » Register now
Study with Us
International Health Management
Strong managers and leaders are needed to ensure sustainable and equitable health systems that can respond to current and future health needs. The MBA in International Health Management programme seeks to create a new generation of managers and leaders, building on their various skills sets and personalities in order to equip them for leadership positions by maintaining a global perspective and interdisciplinary approach to health.
Health Care and Management
The 14-week Diploma of Advanced Studies 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. Participants benefit from engaging with experts from various fields, practical application and interactive training.
Students of the HCM at Swiss TPH
Welcome Back, HCM Alumni!
On 26 November, Swiss TPH hosted the first ever HCM(TC) Alumni reunion. Nearly 100 alumni took part. In a video, Swiss TPH Director Jürg Utzinger looks back at 26 years of the HCM course at Swiss TPH. » Watch the full video
QS Global Academic Survey
The University of Basel invites interested alumni and cooperation partners to participate in the QS Academic Reputation Survey. This survey is part of an international university ranking that is highly regarded in the media, politics and the public. » Participate now
Latest Publications
Zinsstag J, Schelling E, Crump L, Whittaker M, Tanner M, Stephen C. One Health. The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches. 2nd Edition. Oct 2020. » More information
De Leo G A, Stensgaard A-S, Sokolow S H, N’Goran E K, Chamberlin A J, Yang G-J, Utzinger J. Schistosomiasis and climate change BMJ 2020. » Read the full article
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
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4051 Basel, Switzerland
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