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Swiss TPH News, February 2021
Two buddhist monks in a boat on a river

Mitigating the Impact of COVID19 on NTDs

The unprecedented progress made in global health over the past 20 years is being threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent publication in Infectious Diseases of Poverty, researchers at Swiss TPH and partner institutions draw the attention of the neglected tropical disease (NTD) community towards some of the major emerging economic opportunities that have arisen as a response to tackle the pandemic.

"The international community has mobilised extraordinary economic recovery funds, but the window of opportunity to include the NTD agenda within these major global efforts has an expiration date," said Peter Steinmann of Swiss TPH. » Read more
Researchers conduct community outreach in remote areas in Lesotho
Improving Access to COVID-19 Screening and Testing in African Countries
A new joint initiative from the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership will support three COVID-19-related projects in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including a project led by Swiss TPH and Zambart that improves access to COVID-19 screening and testing in Lesotho and Zambia.
Rural scenery in Lesotho
Global Action Required to Tackle Pandemic-Induced Hunger and Poverty
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in living standards and rising food insecurity in LMICs, according to a new study by an international team of economists. The study provides novel insights into the collateral damage of the pandemic, and urges the international community to take action to mitigate the impact on hunger and poverty.
Patient gets nasopharyngeal swab
COVID-19 Test from Start to Finish: How Does it Work?
Testing for COVID-19 has rapidly scaled up in the past months, thanks to the wide availability of testing material and the introduction of new testing strategies. Did you ever wonder what
laboratory work is actually involved when you take a Corona test? The following pictures, taken at the Swiss TPH Travel Clinic and Diagnostic Centre, demonstrate how a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test is carried out in the laboratory, and all of the labour intensive steps that it entails. » Read more
Screenshot of the virtual conference
Young Researchers in Environmental Epidemiology Share Latest Findings
Swiss TPH and the European Chapter of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) hosted a virtual symposium for young scientists in the field of environmental epidemiology from 18 to 19 February 2021. Over 200 participants came together to exchange experiences, discuss research findings and promote scientific communication.
Doctor examines child
Combining Research and Implementation Services to Accelerate Development
Fostering synergies between research and project implementation services can help achieve the goals and targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a recently published policy brief, we highlight the importance of bringing research and services for development closer together and describe the benefits, needs and best practices.
To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, some of the amazing scientists at Swiss TPH share their vision for the future generation of #WomenInScience.
» Watch the video now
City with industry chimneys
European Cities with Highest Mortality Due to Air Pollution
A health impact study for the first time has estimated the mortality burden attributable to air pollution in more than 1,000 European cities. The study led by ISGlobal includes a ranking of the European cities with the highest rates of mortality attributable to each of the two air pollutants studied: fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Health worker tests patient
New Programme to Tackle NCDs in Lesotho
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and high blood pressure are the number one cause of death and disability globally. More than 75% of premature NCD-related deaths occur in LMICs. A new programme coordinated by SolidarMed, Swiss TPH and partners in Lesotho aims to tackle NCDs, building on long-term experience in HIV/AIDS chronic disease care.
Project Updates
Malaria modelling
Mathematical Models to Define New Malaria Interventions
Together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Swiss TPH modellers are working to define new interventions against malaria by bringing in stakeholders from academia, product development partners, and representatives from malaria-endemic countries. The aim is to use the defined product profiles early in the development
process to select between new interventions, ensuring that they meet the public health needs. » Read more
Gavi Programme Audit Mandate
Swiss TPH has been awarded the Gavi Programme Audit mandate to ensure that Gavi’s financial support provided to various programmes is used in conformity with the terms and conditions agreed with Gavi. The first review began in Chad this month with a desk review, followed by an in-country scoping mission to assess the risk and mitigation measures in place. » Read more about Healthcare Quality Management at Swiss TPH
Using Viral Genetics to Curb the HIV Epidemic
Major progress in curbing the HIV epidemic in Lesotho has been achieved. However, there were still 11,000 new infections in 2019, emphasizing the importance of targeted prevention of new infections. A new project, funded by the University of Basel, aims to combine phylogenetical tools and biological markers to identify ongoing hotspots of HIV transmission in Lesotho. The project will also tackle HIV drug resistance, which is a serious threat for the achievements made through the global roll-out of antiretroviral therapy. » Read more
Dissecting Protective Immune Traits of Tuberculosis
Researchers at Swiss TPH aim to gain important knowledge on the intrinsic differential immune traits that define a protective response against tuberculosis. They will demonstrate that in vitro granulomas constitute a relevant tool to study
drug-targetable host immune pathways linked to clinical TB severity in a given epidemiological setting. The results will have an impact on the design and selection of host-directed therapy agents against TB. The research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. » Read more
Linking Air Pollution Exposure Models to Health
Authorities are faced with important challenges when evaluating the health relevance of air quality. In a project, funded by the Federal Office for Environment (FOEN), Swiss TPH researchers apply several exposure models for air pollutants with high spatial and temporal resolution to health outcomes from the Swiss population-based cohorts SAPALDIA and the Swiss National Cohort (SNC). They investigate the acute and long-term associations of exposure estimated from different models and aim to quantify the influence of different exposure models and pollutants on the exposure-morbidity/mortality associations. » Read more
Upcoming Events
Are COVID-19 Vaccines the Way Out of the Pandemic?
COVID-19 vaccines are currently the most heavily discussed topic. Join us on 11 March 2021 at 10:30 CET to review basic immunology and the presently available vaccines, as well as efficacy data from clinical trials, ‘herd immunity,’ and the perfect vaccine of the future. » Further information

This session is part of the new Virtual Event Series of Swiss TPH.
Study with Us
Urban panorama
International Cooperation and Global Health
In a globalised world, internationally and inter-culturally active professional groups are confronted with complex and multifaceted challenges. The 8-week course is aimed at professionals from all health sectors and interested parties from other professions who are preparing for working abroad or who are confronted in their daily life with intercultural communication, migration and health in a global context. Course language is German.
Rural scenery in Mongolia
Preparatory Short-Course for Future Expatriates
The course provides an overview of health-related issues expatriates and their families may face during their stay abroad. The goal is to equip the participants with all necessary background information on preventive measures to be considered before leaving their home country and to provide them with the basic knowledge on how to deal with the most relevant and frequent health issues possibly arising during their stay abroad.
Latest Publications
Menardo F, Gagneux S, Freund F, Multiple Merger Genealogies in Outbreaks of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Molecular Biology and Evolution » Read full article
Bui HTN, Passecker A, Brancucci NMB, Voss TS. Investigation of Heterochromatin Protein 1 Function in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Using a Conditional Domain Deletion and Swapping Approach. mSphere » Read full article
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