Arbeitgruppe: Project partner locations: Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Kosovo, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen
Project partner locations: Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Kosovo, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen


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:
•    Build up 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 international visibility of the BNITM

•    Mobile laboratories
•    Online teaching platform
•    Stable cooperation partners and institutions
•    Training facilities
•    Three servers for 'big data' storage

•    Blended learning (combination of online and classroom 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 materials for multiplier effects by participants
•    Training in laboratory methods
•    Adult learning techniques
•    Implementation support
•    Training in setting up mobile laboratories


BNITM Alumni Network

Contact: Norbert Schwarz, Nassim Behjat

2017 - 2018

This year, for the first time an alumni website has been established at the BNITM, which aims to stay connected with the BNITM Alumni from across the world.
The BNITM would like to establish a lasting relationship to its Alumni and don’t want the communication to stop once the people leave the Institute.

As a member of the Alumni Network, Alumni are not only enjoying various benefits, they will also have the opportunity to share their professional knowledge with other colleagues and find possible international cooperation in their field of research.
This kind of possibility was recently given during the very first Alumni week, which took place from
25– 29 June 2018 at the BNITM. It was an international academic event for Alumni of the BNITM and offered an invaluable platform for sharing opinions and exchanging ideas about ethics in natural sciences. The event was successful and received a lot of positive feedback from the participants of the Alumni week. The event also offered a great opportunity to meet former colleagues and friends and in some cases even to engage in new projects.

By establishing a strong Alumni Network, the BNITM as a high quality institution for research and teaching wants to become more international and increase its visibility.  By increasing our international linkage through Alumni, it is possible to become internationally more recognized in research areas.  By attracting and recruiting international researchers, the BNITM can enhance its research profile and demonstrate research of international standing in its research areas.

,,If we keep Alumni properly informed and engaged, they can be our best ambassadors. They can promote for us across their personal and professional networks”.

The BNITM Alumni Network is open to all Alumni-members of the BNITM as well as to all its guests and friends.

Funded by Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Foundation).

German Online Platform For Biosecurity & Biosafety (GO4BSB)

Contact: Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja, Norbert Schwarz, E-Mail: go4bsb(at)

2017 - 2019
GO4BSB is an e-learning platform established in support of the projects of the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security. The Platform is designed to provide e-learning modules that help raise awareness among partner countries around biosecurity-related topics, including special foci on issues, such as non-proliferation principles, practices and instruments. GO4BSB also serves as a repository for biosecurity-related reference literature.  GO4BSB is a collaborative initiative by the Friedrich-Löffler Institute (FLI), Institute for Mikrobiology of the Bundeswehr, Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM). GO4BSB is being developed and responsibly conducted by the BNITM. Funder is the German Federal Office of Foreign Affairs.

Organise Response to Disease Epidemics maintaining Routine Health Care (ORDER HC)

Contact: Ricardo Strauß, Norbert Schwarz

2017 - 2020
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.

Global Partnership Initiated Academia for the Control of Health Threats (GIBACHT)

Contact: Eva Mertens, Norbert Schwarz

GIBACHT is an educational programme established and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The training programme focuses on threats and risks conferred by biological agents and bioweapons and their successful prevention and control. The programme is offered and responsibly conducted by the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland and the African Field Epidemiology Network, AFENET. It is funded by the German Federal Office of Foreign Affairs.

For more information visit

The picture shows the whole GIBACHT team with students from Makerere University in Kampala after having worked through the GIBACHT biosecurity/biosafety case studies
GIBACHT team with students from Makerere University in Kampala

East African Community Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases - EAC mobile laboratories

Contact: Florian Gehre, Muna Affara, Lisa Reigl

2017 - 2020
(Re)-Emerging and Epidemic prone infectious diseases pose a significant public health and socio-economic burden in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Recent disease outbreaks, such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, demonstrate the need for preparedness and rapid response to such outbreaks.

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. Through this project, a total of nine mobile laboratories will be deployed to the EAC partner states Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan. Mechanisms for robust diagnostics and surveillance reporting systems will be implemented across the participating countries, to enable rapid cross border response to disease epidemics.

With its high expertise in the implementation of Mobile Laboratories, the BNITM will provide technical consultation to support this project. The institute will draw on vast technical expertise to identify and support the procurement and set up of the mobile laboratories. Subsequently, regional capacity to operate the mobile laboratories will be built through three structured phases of training, lead by BNITM. In the first phase, two experts from each participating country will come to BNITM for a specialised training of trainers in the use of the mobile laboratories and the specific diagnostic assays. Next, these experts, with the support of the BNITM consultants, will conduct in country training, including external proficiency testing. Finally, BNITM with the EAC, will coordinate field exercises across the partner states, to reinforce the training and capture epidemiological data on disease burden.

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

For more information visit: or EAC Mobile Lab Fact sheet

BNITM trains twelve least african laboratory experts, October 2018

EAC team

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

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 (, Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA,

African Programme for Advanced Research Epidemiology Training (APARET)

Contact: Norbert Schwarz

2011 - 2014
APARET was initiated in cooperation with the African Field Epidemiology Network, AFENET ( and 11 other partners from Africa, Europe and America. APARET is an advanced training initiative whose goal is to support independent research activities by graduates of Field Epidemiology Training Programmes (FETP) and Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Programmes (FELTP) in Africa. The four-year programme is supported by a grant of 2 million Euros from the European Union through the Seventh Framework Programme for the Funding of research and technological development... (more)

Cooperations: Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg (BNITM), Germany
African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Uganda
WHO Multi Disease Surveillance Centre (MDSC) in Ougadougou, Burkina-Faso
Ghana School of Public Health, Accra (GSPH), Ghana
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Kumasi (KNUST), Ghana
Makerere University, School of Public Health, Kampala (MUSPH), Uganda
University of Ouagadougou (UO), Burkina-Faso
University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Zimbabwe
Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Tanzania
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Switzerland
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA
Funding: FP7 programme of the European Commission


Prof. Dr. Jürgen May

Phone: +494042818-369
Fax: +494042818-512
E-Mail: may(at)

Team Coordinator

Norbert Schwarz (-504)

Norbert Schwarz (-521)

Scientific Staff

Muna Affara (Tanzania)

Muna Affara (Tanzania)

Oumou Maiga Ascofaré (Ghana)

Oumou Maiga Ascofaré (Ghana)

Daniela Fusco (-243)

Daniela Fusco (-243)

Florian Gehre (Tanzania)

Florian Gehre (Tanzania)

Eva Mertens (-243)

Eva Mertens (-243)

Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja (-243)

Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja (-243)

Kathrin Schuldt (-405)

Kathrin Schuldt (-405)

Ricardo Strauss (-243)

Ricardo Strauss (-243)

Marlow Zimmermann (-243)

Marlow Zimmermann (-243)

Scientific Project Management

Nassim Behjat (-244)

Nassim Behjat (-244)

Liane Lammert (-244)

Liane Lammert (-244)

Lisa Reigl (Tanzania)

Lisa Reigl (Tanzania)