Swiss TPH Image Brochure EN

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Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Swiss Tropical Excellence in Global Health and Public Health Institute Excellence in Global Health 1



At a Glance


Facts & Figures


Translational Approach 11 Innovation 12 Validation 14 Application 16

Services We Offer


Study with Us


Key Areas of Activity 20 Organigramme 22

Introducing Swiss TPH in a Short Video The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, education and services at the local, national and international level. About 850 people from 80 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) Socinstrasse 57, Postfach CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland +41 (0)61 284 81 11


Watch our film:

Text and edits: Layla Hasler Contributions: Sabina Beatrice-­ Matter, Danielle Powell Pictures: Joachim Pelikan, Danielle Powell, Thomas Schuppisser, Christian Flierl, Sameer Kermalli

Cover picture: Joachim Pelikan Design: Vischer Vettiger Hartmann, Basel Printing: Gremper AG Copyright: Swiss TPH 2019


Lasting Impact through Excellence in Global Health It is my pleasure to introduce to you the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Founded 75 years ago and strongly rooted in Basel, Swiss TPH stands true to its mission to improve the health and well-being of people locally, nationally and around the globe. Building on three pillars – research, education and services – we generate measurable outputs and create lasting impact for people and communities worldwide. Through our unique approach from innovation and validation to application, we translate research into action, help strengthen health systems and shape health policy. With our research projects and health services, we contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“At the heart of our success stands partnership.”

Swiss TPH employees work passionately every day in Basel and in our local offices around the globe, tackling the most press­ ing global health challenges. At the heart of our success stands partnership. Indeed, together, we can make a difference to improve the health of people here, there and everywhere.

Prof. Dr. Jürg Utzinger Director, Swiss TPH


At a Glance

Improving Global Health

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Research, education and services By uniquely combining research, education and services, we aim to improve the health and well-being of people through a better understanding of disease and health systems and by acting on this knowledge. From science to impact Our translational approach, from innovation and validation to application, enables


us to bring novel diagnostics, drugs and vaccines directly to people, communities, policy and decision makers. Throughout, we pursue a spirit of partnership and strive for sustainable impact in over 100 countries. Broad expertise 850 employees and students work at Swiss TPH, focusing on infectious and noncommunicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions. Our expertise spans from the bench to the field, from basic to operational, from molecular to spatial, and from genes to health systems.

Five departments of Swiss TPH work across three fields – Medical research, education and Parasitology and services – to improve Infection Biology (MPI) health globally. MPI studies diseases of poverty and develops diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to combat them.

Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH)

EPH studies health and diseases in relation to their social, ecological and genetic Research determinants.

Medicine (MED) MED provides clinical and diagnostic services for Services travellers and conducts clinical research in lowresource settings.

Improving Health

Education and Training (ET) ET offers local, national and international Education training programmes and courses at graduate and post­graduate levels.

Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH) SCIH provides policy advice, project design and management in the area of national and global health.



The training in family medicine in Tajikistan is a difficult one, but the reward makes it worth it; I am able to give back to my community to ensure that my family, friends and neighbours have access to the healthcare they need.


Asrorova Zahonoro Nursing Student, Dushanbe, Tajikistan


Facts & Figures

Key Figures Global presence: 285 projects in more than 100 countries Swiss TPH projects Swiss TPH offices

A diverse, specialised and highly engaged workforce Swiss TPH has around 850 employees from 80 nations. 610 are based in Basel and 240 abroad in 40 different countries. 55% of our staff are women and 45% are men.


Facts & Figures

Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides a compass to tackle the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate and health. Swiss TPH is committed to the achievement of the SDGs, placing particular emphasis on SDG 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages� and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). With our research projects and service mandates, we ultimately contribute to all of the SDGs.


Facts & Figures

Scientific output: 531 peer-reviewed publications in 2018 Research Areas Infectious diseases Public, environment & occupational health Parasitology Tropical medicine Environmental sciences & ecology Pharmacology & pharmacy Science & technology Microbiology General & internal medicine Chemistry Health care sciences & services Immunology Respiratory system Biochemistry & molecular biology Other topics Distribution of “research areas” of Swiss TPH publications in 2018, according to Web of Science (accessed: September 2019)

Funding 2018

Selected funding partners and clients

Competitively acquired

Core contributions

• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

78.0 %

22.0 %

• Drugs for Neglected Diseases


initiative (DNDi)

Medical services

(e.g. travel medicine & diagnostics)

Other income

Education and training

Core funding

(e.g. postgraduate courses)


• R. Geigy-Foundation • Stanley Thomas Johnson

Education an Training


(e.g. SDC, Global Fund and BMGF)

• Eckenstein-Geigy Foundation • European Commission (EU) • Fondation Botnar • Global Fund • Medicines for Malaria Venture

CHF (e.g. Postgraduate courses)


86.6 Mio.

• Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

• Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)


(e.g. SNSF and EU)

• Unitaid For the full list, please visit:



One of the best parts of my job is the direct exchange with many different people. By monitoring the Asian tiger mosquito in Switzerland, we are at the interface between public authorities, the population and researchers from different backgrounds, fostering cross-border collaboration. Martin Gschwind Zoologist, Health Interventions at Swiss TPH



Translational Approach

From Innovation and Validation to Application Throughout all of its activities, Swiss TPH works across a value-chain, from innovation and validation to application. Innovations such as new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines or approaches and tools are validated in real-world settings and finally applied and integrated into health systems and policies.




Discover novel diagnostics, drugs and vaccines and develop new approaches and tools

Generate evidence under real-world conditions, using the highest ethical, scientific and technical standards

Integrate new treatments and approaches into policy and health systems

The following examples showcase how Swiss TPH works from innovation and validation to application in different topics and disease areas: Digital innovations to improve child health P. 12

Testing a new paediatric drug formulation against schistosomiasis P. 14

Developing health personnel to strengthen health systems P. 16


Translational Approach


Digital Innovations to Improve Child Health Drug resistance is one of the world’s most pressing health threats. Swiss TPH researchers work on new drugs, vaccines and tools to tackle resistances.

based both on clinical signs as well as point-of-care test results. e-POCT includes tests for malaria, anaemia, low oxygen, bacterial infections and low blood glucose.

Decision-support tool

Road to large-scale implementation

One example of an innovative tool is e-POCT. Swiss TPH developed this smartphone-based tool to improve diagnosis and treatment of sick children. e-POCT guides health workers through the entire consultation and recommends treatment

The tool was tested in a clinical trial in Tanzania with 3,000 children. The use of e-POCT led to improved health outcomes and a drastic reduction in the prescription of antibiotics from 95% to 11%. Through funding from Fondation Botnar, e-POCT

e-POCT helps clinicians to diagnose and treat sick children. 12

is now undergoing further field testing in Tanzania to allow large-scale implementation in the country. The e-POCT tool will also be enhanced further through machine learning. e-POCT has the potential to avoid 1 million treatment failures and 28 million unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics every year in Tanzania. The rational use of drugs such as antibiotics and antimalarials should cure common infections more reliably and rapidly, and reduce drug resistance. A centre of expertise in eHealth As a WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Technology Management and eHealth, Swiss TPH designs and implements various initiatives related to eHealth, ranging from designing devices and tools, programming software, implementing projects and building capacity, to evaluating effectiveness and developing eHealth strategies and policies.

The tool integrates tests for malaria, anaemia, low oxygen, bacterial infections and low blood glucose.

Other examples of innovation • Testing a novel drug compound against

malaria parasites that has the potential to tackle strains resistant against standard antimalarial treatments • Human biomonitoring for Europe: pro-

viding better evidence of the exposure of citizens to chemicals and the possible health effects to support policy-­making • Introducing a prime vendor system by

establishing a unique public-private partnership to procure complementary health commodities to improve the availability of medicines in Tanzania • Contributing to the discovery of a highly

effective compound against Buruli ulcer, which has the potential to become a powerful alternative to the existing treatment options


Translational Approach


Testing a Paediatric Formulation against Schistosomiasis Before new treatments or tools can be rolled out in health systems, they need to be rigorously validated. The new paediatric formulation of praziquantel is an example of how Swiss TPH works on validating a drug before it is introduced into a health system. Better treatment for young children Schistosomiasis is caused by parasitic worms and affects about 220 million people globally, including many children.

Swiss TPH works from drug discovery, drug development and clinical trials all the way to developing access models for novel drugs in low-resource settings. Working in partnership To develop and register a new formulation of praziquantel for preschool-aged children, Swiss TPH works with the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium led by Merck, which brings together organisations from the public and private sector. Praziquantel

Swimming in infested water makes children vulnerable to an infection with schistosomiasis. 14

is the standard drug for the treatment of schistosomiasis, but it is not registered for pre-school aged children and – in its current formulation – it is not suitable for use in these children. Testing efficacy of child-friendly tablet Swiss TPH together with partners conducted a clinical trial in Côte d’Ivoire with 444 children aged 3 months to 6 years. Based on the data of this phase II study, the consortium selected the best orodispersible tablet formulation candidate and the best dose to be used for the pivotal phase III clinical study. This trial in Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya will gather additional data on the new formulation that is needed for registration. The drug should become available for deployment in 2022 in endemic countries in Africa. Together with consortium partners, Swiss TPH explores models to make the drug available to children in need, considering aspects ranging from logistics to social mobilisation and acceptance.

To validate new drug candidates, Swiss TPH conducts clinical trials in low-resource settings.

Other examples of validation • Comparing different diagnostic assays

for rapid and accurate diagnosis of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis • Co-development of fexinidazole – the

first all-oral treatment against sleeping sickness, done in collaboration with DNDi • Supporting a clinical trial that aims to

find an improved course of treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis • Understanding of how environmental

and socio-demographic factors modify heat-related mortality risks to develop effective climate change adaption measures


Translational Approach


Developing Health Personnel and Strengthening Health Systems Once new treatments or approaches are validated and deemed effective, they are ready to be implemented and integrated into health policies and systems.

and international partners, Swiss TPH has improved the undergraduate education of medical and nursing students and established a two-year postgraduate specialty training for family doctors.

Strengthening primary healthcare In Tajikistan, for instance, Swiss TPH implements a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project to strengthen medical education. Working with local

Applied knowledge from Switzerland Switzerland has been supporting health system strengthening in Tajikistan for the past 20 years. Institutional capacities

With two-thirds of Tajikistan’s population living in rural areas, primary healthcare is key to making quality healthcare more accessible. 16

have been built, and new curricula developed. Greater focus is now placed on practical and clinical skills, communication techniques, and on providing early exposure to rural practice realities. Since 2009, over 30,000 undergraduate students have benefited from these reforms. At a postgraduate level, 105 family doctors have successfully graduated from the specialty training between 2013 and 2018. Employed by the Ministry of Health, all of them now work in rural districts. In some districts, these family doctors have been the first to join the primary healthcare workforce in over 10 years. Role model for other countries To achieve the health-related targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Switzerland promotes Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through activities that advocate for access to quality healthcare. The project in Tajikistan contributes to the improvement of health outcomes in the country and acts as a model for other countries working towards achieving UHC through medical education.

Between 2013 and 2018, 105 family doctors were trained in Tajikistan with all of them working now in rural districts.

Other examples of application • Improving health of vulnerable groups

in Albania through improved primary healthcare services and health promotion activities • Integrating rectal artesunate to tackle

severe malaria in children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda • Training over 700 students annually in

45 professional postgraduate courses, offered at Swiss TPH • Monitoring and combating the spread of

the Asian tiger mosquito by coordinating joint action in Basel and across borders in Germany and France


Services We Offer For travellers Vaccinations and medical consultations 15,000 pre-travel medical consultations, 1,500 post-travel consultations and 30,000 phone calls annually – our travel clinic is a national centre of competence for travel and tropical medicine.

For donors and global health actors Consultancy and project implementation Through the Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH), Swiss TPH offers state-of-the-art consultancy and project implementation services in the area of global health.

For clinical trial sponsors Clinical trials and studies Swiss TPH conducts clinical trials for new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines to improve access, quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare in low-income settings.

For medical doctors, hospitals and laboratories Diagnostic services Our Diagnostic Centre is specialised in diagnosing infectious tropical diseases. The laboratory has an internationally recognised expertise in parasitic infections and was nominated as the Swiss National Reference Centre for Imported Parasitic Diseases.


Study with Us As an associated institute of the University of Basel, Swiss TPH offers undergraduate, master, PhD and postgraduate programmes, trainings and short courses. Topics range from international health, epidemiology, public health, infection biology, clinical practice to insurance medicine and management. Sharing knowledge Lecturers and participants come from all around the world to share their knowledge across disciplines and cultures. They become part of an extensive network that lasts beyond the duration of a course or programme. Together, they can make a difference and help shape a healthier, more sustainable future. Professional postgraduate courses We offer 45 different postgraduate courses, including: • • • •

MAS in International Health MAS in Insurance Medicine MBA in International Health Management DAS Health Care and Management

For the full list of our offerings, please visit:

Hundreds of students from all around the globe are trained at Swiss TPH annually.

Cultural, age and disciplinary diversity

Courses and programmes offered

Students and course participants per year

Global community

MSc in Epidemiology MSc in Infection Biology 45 postgraduate trainings

700 postgraduate students 190 PhD students 55 Master students

50 nations represented annually


Key Areas of Activity

The broad variety of projects and initiatives of Swiss TPH are currently bundled into 13 key areas of activity (KAA). In each KAA, we work across departments and along our value chain, from innovation and validation to application, to ultimately improve health globally. KAA #1

KAA #8

Basic Research in Infection Biology

Health in HumanEnvironment Systems

KAA #2

KAA #9

Preclinical Research and Development

Society, Culture and Health

KAA #3

KAA #10

Clinical Research and Development

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender

KAA #4

KAA #11

Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology

Health Systems and Policy

KAA #5

KAA #12

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Travel and Tropical Medicine

KAA #6

KAA #13

Statistical and Mathematical Modelling

Migration and Health

KAA #7

Personalised Health



Having access to the Community Health Fund in Tanzania assists my family a lot - especially as a mother supporting her kids. I get faster, more reliable healthcare and access to quality hospitals, and for that I am grateful.


Kiyange Rashid Kibaoni, Tanzania



Board of Governors


Members from the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, Swiss universities and the private sector

Director Jürg Utzinger

Chairman Andreas Burckhardt

Deputy Director and Department Head Nino Künzli Department Heads Sébastien Gagneux, Daniel Paris, Nicole Probst-Hensch, Kaspar Wyss Administrative Director Matthias Schmid-Huberty



Epidemiology and Public Health

Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology

Matthias Schmid-Huberty Deputy: Mathias Kronig

Nicole Probst-Hensch Deputy: Jakob Zinsstag

Sébastien Gagneux Deputy: Till Voss

Finances / Controlling Mathias Kronig

Biostatistics Penelope Vounatsou

Clinical Immunology Claudia Daubenberger

Human Resources Iris Haueter

Chronic Disease Epidemiology Nicole Probst-Hensch

Helminth Drug Development Jennifer Keiser

Informatics Alain Bertolotti

Ecosystem Health Sciences Guéladio Cissé

Malaria Gene Regulation Till Voss

Infrastructure Ursina Müller

Environmental Exposures and Health Martin Röösli

Malaria Host Interactions Nicolas Brancucci

Project & Grant Service Michael Käser

Health Interventions Christian Lengeler Household Economics and Health Systems Research Günther Fink Human and Animal Health Jakob Zinsstag Infectious Disease Modelling Thomas Smith Society, Gender and Health Sonja Merten

Organigramme valid January 2020.


Molecular Immunology Gerd Pluschke Parasite Chemotherapy Pascal Mäser Tuberculosis Research Sébastien Gagneux

Communications Sabina Beatrice-Matter

Security, Safety & Health Marco Tamborrini Alexander Knup

From left: Jürg Utzinger, Daniel Paris, Nino Künzli, Matthias SchmidHuberty, Kaspar Wyss, Nicole Probst-Hensch, Sébastien Gagneux.

Swiss Centre for International Health


Education and Training

Kaspar Wyss

Daniel Paris Deputy: Christian Burri

Nino Künzli Deputy: Axel Hoffmann

Health Systems Support Helen Prytherch

Clinical Operations Elisabeth Reus

Bachelor-Master-Doctorate Nino Künzli

Health Technology and Telemedicine Martin Raab

Clinical Research Klaus Reither

Library and Documentation Giovanni Casagrande

Diagnostics Sven Poppert

Professional Postgraduate Training Bernadette Peterhans

Systems Performance and Monitoring Odile Pham-Tan

Medical Services Andreas Neumayr Medicines Implementation Research Christian Burri

Teaching Technology and Didactics Axel Hoffmann

For up-to-date information and to see all our staff, please visit: 23

Socinstrasse 57, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland +41 (0)61 284 81 11