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The focus of the Research and Development group is the performance of studies on communicable diseases of humans. The concept includes the planning, preparation, supervision, performance and analysis of observational studies and clinical trials, combining classical, molecular and clinical epidemiology. Focus diseases are malaria, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, sepsis, neglected tropical diseases (NTD) and co-infections in resource-poor settings. The group is interested in the development, evaluation and application of advanced diagnostics of infectious diseases, integration of electronic surveillance, definition of health priorities, and the analysis of the pathogens and their transmission conditions. The latter includes the analysis of genetic, environmental, socio-economic, demographic, and spatio-temporal risk factors on the host site as well as influence factors of the pathogens and vectors. The superior aim is the translation of results to implementation of diagnostics, treatment, prevention and capacity building in endemic countries. The studies are mainly performed together with the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR), the Ghana School of Public Health of the University of Ghana and different hospitals and communities in the Ashanti Region. Other cooperation partners are in many other African countries as well as in Vietnam and Laos.
Health threats in populations require global and international preparedness and effective responses. The infectious disease epidemiology department of BNITM contributes to this through teaching and capacity-building initiatives in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia.
These aim to:
From 16-20 April 2018, the fourth cohort of the GIBACHT programme (Global Partnership Initiated Academia for the Control of Health Threats) met for a workshop at the BNITM. This training is part of the German Biosecurity Programme, funded by the Federal Foreign Office and led by BNITM with the partner institutions Robert Koch Institute, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and the African Field Epidemiology Network. The goal of the programme is to strengthen national capacities in disaster management and the control of biological agents, and to foster international scientific exchange. After an introduction to the subject through e-learning modules in their home countries, the 15 participants from 11 countries got together for the first time in Hamburg and were further introduced to the topics biosafety, biosecurity and case study development. The next meeting will take place during a second workshop in Berlin in July 2018.