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Swiss TPH News, December 2021
Swiss TPH Season's Greetings
Season's Greetings
This year marked a new beginning for Swiss TPH as we began the move into our new headquarters “Belo Horizonte”. Despite the adversities and uncertainties of these times, we are convinced that beautiful horizons indeed lie ahead for the improvement of global health.

We thank you wholeheartedly for the collaboration and partnership – together we can make the world a healthier place.
Woman looking out of the window
People from Low-Income Households Severely Affected by Pandemic
The COVCO-Basel study by Swiss TPH has been investigating the health-related and societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year. New results from the study have shown that people from low-income households are more severely affected by the pandemic, and that rates of depression among this population group have risen.
Group of children in Burkina Faso
Elimination on the Horizon: Prevalence of Schistosomiasis Decreases by Nearly 60%
In a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Swiss TPH researchers found that the prevalence of schistosomiasis among school-aged children decreased by nearly 60% between 2000 and 2019 due to large-scale drug administration and social and economic development of the African continent.
Antimicrobial Resistance: The Silent Pandemic
Esther Kuenzli in front of the Travel Clinic On the occasion of Antimicrobial Awareness Week, Esther Künzli, interim Head of the Travel Clinic and Infectious Disease specialist, joined us to speak about antimicrobial resistance and the need for immediate and coordinated action. » Read the interview
Two children in Tanzania
Health Economics to Advance Sleeping Sickness Elimination
Global health decision-makers use frameworks to support them with creating strategies to meet global elimination targets for diseases. In a recent study, Swiss TPH researchers proposed a new health economic framework using a unique combination of uncertainty, cost-effectiveness and elimination to support the WHO’s goal of eliminating sleeping sickness by 2030.
Blood sample taking in clinic in Lao
Promising Drug Combination Treatment against Parasitic Worm Infections
In a Phase III clinical trial, researchers at Swiss TPH have gathered encouraging data to demonstrate higher efficacy of co-administration of ivermectin-albendazole in combating soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The findings were published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Inspiring Young Scientists
Still of the video Sumaiyya Thawer and Anaïs Galli, PhD students at Swiss TPH, recently participated in the Bill Gates Deep Dive on malaria, discussing what is needed for reaching eradication. "Defeating this parasite will take a heroic effort. But the intelligence and passion I saw in those students made me more optimistic than ever that we can do it," Bill Gates said after the meeting. » Read more
Graphic from the publication
Optimization Framework for Calibration of Malaria Transmission Simulator
Individual-based models have become important tools in the global battle against infectious diseases, yet model complexity can make calibration challenging. A new publication in Nature Communications, featuring researchers from Swiss TPH, improves disease modelling used for decision-making by utilising machine-learning and data to create better calibrated models.
Nurse examining patient's hand
Promising Results for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment
TB-PRACTECAL, a clinical trial led by Médecins Sans Frontières with partners including Swiss TPH, has found that a new all-oral treatment regimen for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) is safer and more effective than the current accepted standard of care. These results signal the start of a new chapter for patients who often endure gruelling treatment regimens.
Health Impacts of New WHO Air Quality Guidelines in Europe
Plane in the sky at sunset In a recent The Lancet Planet feature, researchers from ISGLOBAL, Swiss TPH and other organisations found that a large number of premature deaths in Europe could be prevented annually if air pollution levels decreased to meet the WHO Air Quality Guidelines. » Read full article
Fighting Misconduct and Malpractice
Swiss TPH does everything in its power to remedy situations that violate legal and moral-ethical provisions. As we strive for excellence in governance, we have implemented a “Tell-Us System” with which employees and third parties can point out any type of misconduct and malpractice. » Swiss TPH Tell-Us System
Portrait of M. Gyapong, S. Merten, S. Gagneux and J. Bohlius
Margaret Gyapong won the Outstanding Female Scientist award. Gyapong received a PhD in Medical Anthropology and Cultural Epidemiology at Swiss TPH and is part of our External Review Board. In the last 25 years, she has risen through the ranks to become an internationally renowned scientist. » Read more
Sonja Merten was elected as a member of the Federal Commission for Family Affairs, which advocates for family-friendly conditions in Switzerland. Merten heads the Society, Gender and Health unit at Swiss TPH. » Read more
Sébastien Gagneux, Head of the Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology Department at Swiss TPH, was promoted to a Full Professor of Infection Biology at the University of Basel. » Read more
Julia Bohlius, Head of the Department of Education and Training at Swiss TPH, was appointed Titular Professor in Cancer Epidemiology within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Basel. » Read more
Project Updates
Epidemiological Outbreak Investigations
Swiss TPH has been nominated again as the Competence Centre for Epidemiological Outbreak Investigations of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Drawing on many years of experience and comprehensive technical expertise, Swiss TPH has held this position since 2012. » Read more
ALMANACH – Project Handover in Nigeria
Still from project video In Nigeria, the electronic application ALMANACH is improving the quality of health care for children under five. ALMANACH can be installed on tablets or smartphone and is being used by nurses and community health extension workers to properly diagnose and treat common childhood diseases. » Read more
Missed Opportunities in Responding to Violence against Women
Women Count Violence against women and girls is a social problem with serious long-term health, social and economic consequences. The MISSOP project, led by Swiss TPH, works in Brazil and Albania, examining the missed opportunities to respond to violence against women and girls in primary care and emergency departments. » Read more
First National Study on Legionnaires’ Disease in Switzerland
Water tab In the last 5 years, the number of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease has doubled in Switzerland. Identifying the main drivers of infection is crucial to enable targeted prevention and control efforts. On behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) Swiss TPH is conducting the SwissLEGIO study, a national case-control and molecular source attribution study. » Read more
Sustainable Dengue Control in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dengue is a life-threatening disease that continues to be neglected, although its presence has increased six fold since 2000. A project led by Swiss TPH aims to mobilise and engage local residents in the sustainable control of Aedes mosquitoes by removal of potential larval breeding sites and trapping egg-laying females. » Read more
One Health in Mayan Communities
Still from project video At the 2021 World Health Summit in Berlin, Jakob Zinsstag of Swiss TPH presented the One Health project on surveillance and response to zoonotic diseases in Guatemala, which aims to discover how the population perceives the transmission of diseases from animals to humans, and how local healers diagnose and treat them.
Swiss TPH in the Media
blue News: Das System wird sehr schnell an Grenzen stossen. » Interview with Jürg Utzinger
Horizons: The ‘death rays’ that never were. » Portrait of Martin Röösli
BZ: Bezug des «Belo Horizonte»: Das «Tropeli» zieht ins Allschwiler Bachgrabenareal um. » Article
9-11 February 2022: 2nd IMPACT Conference
Moving towards Impact – Implementation Science in Switzerland. » Register now
Improving Health Insurance Coverage in LMICs
Recordings and presentations of the Geneva Health Forum Round Table on 22 November 2021 are now available. » Read more
Study with Us
Health Care and Management
The 14-week Diploma of Advanced Studies course provides international participants with the competencies to understand and react to health challenges. Participants acquire a range of skills and knowledge needed to work in a health management team, particularly in low- and middle-income societies, and benefit from engaging with experts from various fields, practical application and interactive training. » Register now
Hybrid Learning Brings New Possibilities
A. Hoffmann, B. Bürkin and J. Bohlius talking The MBA in International Health Management (MBA-IHM) has been on the road to success since it launched in 2013. In an interview, Julia Bohlius, Axel Hoffmann and Barbara Bürkin, the main drivers of the programme, talk about the early days of the MBA-IHM, the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and where the programme is headed. » Read the interview
Latest Publications
Amstutz A, Lejone TI, Khesa L, et al. Offering ART refill through community health workers versus clinic-based follow-up after home-based same-day ART initiation in rural Lesotho: The VIBRA cluster-randomized clinical trial. PLoS Medicine. » Read full article
Medina-Pizzali ML, Hartinger SM, Salmon-Mulanovich G, et al. Antimicrobial Resistance in Rural Settings in Latin America: A Scoping Review with a One Health Lens. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. » Read full article
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