• International teaching & capacity-strengthening

  • Strengthening research capacities together with local partners

  • Training of Trainers

  • Strengthening laboratory and diagnostic capacities

  • Member institute of tropEd Network for Education in International Health

  • Teaching & learning about biosafety & biosecurity


Health threats in populations require global and international preparedness and effective responses. The International Teaching & Capacity-Building (iTCB) unit of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the BNITM contributes to this through education and capacity strengthening initiatives in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia.

These aim to:
•    Strengthen laboratory and diagnostic capacities
•    Minimise biological risks
•    Enhance national preparedness capacities
•    Foster international scientific exchange
•    Teach safe conduct with infectious agents
•    Strengthen health systems
•    Teach epidemiology and infectious disease control
•    Improve research methods capacities
•    Inform public health policy
•    Increase the international visibility of the BNITM

•    Mobile laboratories
•    Digital teaching and learning platforms
•    Stable cooperation partners and institutions
•    Training facilities
•    Three servers for 'big data' storage

•    Blended learning (combination of digital and face-to-face teaching)
•    Train-the-trainer concept
•    Provide context-specific preparedness training
•    Provide tools to foster sustainability
•    Promote local ownership
•    Mentorship programmes
•    Funding programmes and internships for students and staff

Specific methods:
•    E-Learning
•    Distance learning
•    Face-to-Face training
•    Practical training sessions
•    Development of teaching and learning materials for multiplier effects by participants
•    Training in laboratory methods
•    Adult learning techniques
•    Implementation support
•    Training in setting up mobile laboratories



Developing Excellence in Leadership and Genetics Training for Malaria Elimination in sub-Saharan Africa (DELGEME)

Contact: Oumou Maiga Ascofaré

2016 - 2021
DELGEME aims to enrich the pool of African Scientist working in African institutions with relevant expertise particularly for the exploitation of genetics and genomics data for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the next five years, DELGEME will be providing short-term and degree training (MSc, PhD, Post-doctoral) to at least 85 young African scientists. Fellowships will be hosted at an African institution with a curriculum in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biostatistics or data science. DELGEME fellows are expected to develop a research proposal directed at elucidating critical gaps in malaria genetics and molecular epidemiological data exploration that can aid malaria elimination. Dedicated computational facilities will be available for fellows at The USTTB, the MRC, and USAMRD/KEMRI.
Calls for applications on this exciting exercise is available on the website delgeme.org.

Funding: Wellcome Trust Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science Africa Initiative (DELTAS Africa) initiative in partnership with the Department of International Development (DFID) and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA)
Cooperation: University of Science Techniques and Technologies of Bamako Mali (USTTB), Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit The Gambia, The United States Army Medical Research Directorate (USAMRD-K)/KEMRI Kenya, The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR)-Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana, The National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Tanzania, Bernhard-Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) Germany/Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) Ghana, Oxford University - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute UK, MalariaGEN (www.malariagen.net), Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA, http://www.cggh.org/collaborations/plasmodium-diversity-network-africa)

EAC MOBILE LABORATORIES: East African Community Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases


Contact: Florian Gehre, Muna Affara

2017 - ongoing

The East African Community (EAC), in collaboration with the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), are implementing a project entitled “EAC Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases”,funded by the German Government through KfW Development Bank, which aims to establish a sustainable laboratory infrastructure and response network across East Africa. 

This project is funded by the Federal Government through KfW Development Bank. 

For more information visit:

EAC Mobile Labs - Full documentary

Ebola Emergency Response - EAC Mobile Labs



EAC team

EduMad: Global Health and NTDs - an innovative educational approach to meet the endgame target in Madagascar


Contacts: Dr Daniela Fusco, Email: fusco@bnitm.de; Prof Rivo Andry Rakotoarivelo, Email: rakotoarivelo.rivo@gmail.com


Education at all levels of health care is crucial for the proper management of complex diseases, such as the parasitic neglected tropical disease (NTD) schistosomiasis. Madagascar is one of the countries with the highest prevalence, yet gaps in both NTD and Global Health training have been identified. EduMad will contribute to building NTD research and clinical capacities in Madagascar by training about 100 health professionals using an innovative educational approach.

GIBACHT: Global Partnership Initiated Academia for the Control of Health Threats


Contact: Eva Mertens, Email: info@gibacht.org


GIBACHT is a multilateral fellowship training programme in biosafety and biosecurity. GIBACHT is part of the German Biosecurity Programme and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

In order to strengthen national capacity in disaster management and preparednes, GIBACHT aims to provide knowledge and skills on intentional and unintentional infectious disease threats and their control.

During the one-year fellowship, participants gain theoretical knowledge through a blended learning approach, apply their new skills in simulation exercises, and develop their own teaching materials for implementation at their home institutions.

The programme is coordinated by the BNITM and conducted in partnership with Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), and the African Field Epidemiology Network, (AFENET).

For more information visit www.gibacht.org

GO4BSB: German Online Platform For Biosecurity & Biosafety


Contact: Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja, E-Mail: go4bsb(at)bnitm.de

2017 - 2022

The German Online Platform for Biosecurity & Biosafety (GO4BSB) is the e-learning platform of the projects  of the German Biosecurity Programme. The Programme was launched in 2013 by the Federal Foreign Office under the auspices of the G7 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

GO4BSB contributes to the overarching Programme aim of raising awareness and minimising risks associated with highly pathogenic agents by:

  • Raising awareness about biological risks, including the potential misuse of pathogens, toxins, biosecurity-sensitive information and technology
  • Providing e-learning tools and materials, which enable learning about responsible conduct in the life sciences and management of biological risks
  • Enabling interdisciplinary scientific exchange

GO4BSB is a collaborative initiative by the Friedrich-Loeffler Institut (FLI), the Bundeswehr Institute for Mikrobiology (IMB), Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM). GO4BSB is being coordinated by the BNITM. Funder is the German Federal Foreign Office.

HOSPITAL PARTNERSHIP: Improvement of clinical management and laboratory diagnostics for febrile diseases in children in Tanzania


Contact: Denise Dekker

2020 - 2022

The aim of the partnership project between the BNITM and the Bombo Regional Referral Hospital in Tanga, Tanzania, is to strengthen diagnostic and laboratory capacities for the detection and treatment of febrile diseases. That is why training is to be provided in laboratory methods, the treatment of children with febrile diseases and antibiotic therapy.

For more details please visit: hospitalpartnerships.org



IBBM: Improving biosafety and biosecurity measures for the COVID-19 diagnostic in Madagascar


Contact: Daniela Fusco


IBBM is a project aimed at improving the local diagnostic COVID-19 diagnostic capacity of the CHU of Mahajanga. Mahajanga is located on the west-northern coast of Madagascar at more than 2 days travel distance from the capital city Antananarivo. There the most of the diagnostic activities are centralized in the capital and in order to better respond to the pandemic, a decentralized diagnostic frame is crucial. A diagnostic laboratory has been established but biosafety and biosecurity measures must be brought to higher quality standards. The overall objective of IBBM is to improve the biosafety and biosecurity measures at the COVID-19 diagnostic unit of the CHU of Mahajanga.

ORDER-HC: Organise Response to Disease Epidemics maintaining Routine Health Care


Contact: Ricardo Strauss

2017 - 2022
The latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa (2014-2015) put an enormous strain on the health systems of the affected countries: the epidemic required rapid and sustained resource mobilization to control the outbreak, which drained resources from routine health care, severely compromising the provision of all other services. Further, high transmission and fatality rates, including among health workers, affected not only the provision but also the uptake of services. All this had negative consequences in terms of increased morbidity and mortality not directly related to Ebola. The experience in West Africa showed that such outbreaks have the potential to cause a collapse of the entire health system and to create long-lasting collateral damages. Therefore, it is crucial to put efforts into strengthening health systems so they are resilient and adaptable enough to enable continued routine health care during future infectious disease outbreaks – be it Ebola or another disease.

ORDER-HC aims to contribute to the strengthening of health systems for future epidemics by identifying and analysing factors that severely compromised their functioning and to develop strategies for resilience and preparedness.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health.

SToP-CoV: Strengthening COVID-19 response on the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe


Contact: Kathrin Schuldt

2021 - 2023

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) is an Island state in Sub-Saharan Africa with approximately 200,000 inhabitants. Laboratory diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 using PCR is a crucial component in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the insufficient diagnostic capacity to detect SARS-CoV-2 in STP, it is assumed that COVID-19 cases are under-reported in STP. Hence, support in the field of molecular surveillance of SARS-CoV-2, is required to meet the demand for testing, to ensure quality control, establish a molecular surveillance and thus to help contain the pandemic. As part of the long-term strategy to combat COVID-19  and moreover to prepare for future epidemics, there is a need to build a functioning surveillance system that enables the early detection and identification of COVID-19 cases. In order to specifically protect vulnerable groups from infections, the capacity in the area of prevention and control of infections in the health sector is also supported. The capacity built within the framework of the Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) funded SToP-CoV project will also be important for combating other infectious diseases. The SToP-CoV project lays the foundation for the development of detection and molecular diagnostics for other pathogens, which is key for an effective response mechanism to ensure national and international health security.

For more information please visit: https://ghpp.de/de/projekte/stop-cov/

Kick-off lab training 2021


tropEd: tropEd Network for Education in International Health


Contact: Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja, Email: shortcourse@bnitm.de

Since September 2019 the BNITM is an accredited member institution of the tropEd Network for Education in International Health (www.troped.org) tropEd is an international network of member institutions for higher education in international/global health from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America. tropEd provides postgraduate opportunities for education and training contributing to sustainable development. It focuses on improving the management of health services for disadvantaged populations. The innovative approach is based on mobility of people, the exchange of experiences in different disciplines and the establishment of a common standard in education and training.

Group picture: tropEd General Assembly, London, 2019


EPICID: Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Outbreak Settings


Contact: Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja, Email: shortcourse@bnitm.de

2018 - ongoing

Epidemiology provides important tools for the assessment and response to health threats in populations. This is a tropEd accredited 3-week intensive course on the principles and methods of epidemiology and the way these inform the control of infectious diseases in outbreak settings. The course is available annually since 2018 and uses interactive, simulation-based exercises, as well as laboratory- and computer-based practical sessions to complement the theoretical content.

Lab-SPHERE: Laboratory Systems and Public Health in Resource-Limited Settings


Contact: Daniela Fusco, Email: shortcourse@bnitm.de

2019 - ongoing

Well-functioning and sustainable laboratory services are key components of strong health systems and crucial for improving public health and research capacities of countries. This is a tropEd accredited 2-week intensive course offered annually since 2019 aimed at describing the role of laboratory systems in strengthening health services and research capacity with a special focus on low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The emphasis is on explaining the structure and functions of laboratory systems and their effective and efficient management. Moreover, areas where laboratory systems overlap and/or complement health systems are being considered. The course uses interactive, simulation-based exercises, as well as laboratory- and computer-based practical sessions to complement the theoretical content.


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

The East African Community (EAC) mobile laboratory networks in Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan—from project implementation to outbreak response against Dengue, Ebola, COVID-19, and epidemic-prone diseases
Muna Affara, Hakim Idris Lagu, Emmanuel Achol, Richard Karamagi, Neema Omari, Grace Ochido,Eric Kezakarayagwa, Francine Kabatesi, Anatole Nkeshimana, Abdi Roba, Millicent Nyakio Ndia,Mamo U. Abudo, Alice Kabanda, Etienne Mpabuka, Emil Ivan Mwikarago, Philip Ezekiel Kutjok,Donald Duku Samson, Lul Lojok Deng, Nyambura Moremi, Maria Ezekiely Kelly,Peter Bernard Mtesigwa Mkama, Alex Magesa, Stephen Karabyo Balinandi, Godfrey Pimundu,Susan Ndidde Nabadda, Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja, Julia Hinzmann, Sophie Duraffour,Martin Gabriel, Gerd Ruge, Wibke Loag, Rogers Ayiko, Stanley Serser Sonoiya, Juergen May, Michael J. Katende and Florian Gehre
BMC Med 19, 160 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-02028-y

Commentary: mobile laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics: what Europe could learn from the East African Community to assure trade in times of border closures.
Gehre, F., Lagu, H., Achol, E. et al.
Global Health 17, 49 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-021-00700-9


Reasons for and barriers to biosafety and biosecurity training in health-related organizations in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia: findings from GIBACHT training needs assessments 2018-2019
Elizeus Rutebemberwa, Fortress Yayra Aku, Eva Inam Kayed Al Zein, Hedia Bellali
Pan Afr Med J. 2020 Sep 16;37:64. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2020.37.64.23390.


Dr Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja

Phone: +49 40 42818 243
Fax: +49 40 42818 512
E-Mail: puradiredja@bnitm.de

Scientific Staff

Muna Affara (Tanzania)

Muna Affara (Tanzania)

Oumou Maiga Ascofaré (Ghana)

Oumou Maiga Ascofaré (Ghana)

Daniela Fusco (-504)

Daniela Fusco (-504)

Florian Gehre (Tanzania)

Florian Gehre (Tanzania)

Eva Mertens (-243)

Eva Mertens (-243)

Kathrin Schuldt (-405)

Kathrin Schuldt (-405)

Ricardo Strauss (-243)

Ricardo Strauss (-243)

Scientific Project Management

Liane Lammert (-244)

Liane Lammert (-244)

Theresa Habermann (-244)

Theresa Habermann (-244)

Student Officer

Paule Donven

Paule Donven