SCIH Update

Summer 2014

Project gets underway to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity in Chad

Dr. Brahim Hamit, Chad Ministry of Public Health, and Michèle Marin, SDC Chad, at the Health Districts Support Project planning June workshop in N’Djaména

In the central African country Chad, one of the world’s poorest countries, women and children suffer from many diseases among which malaria, respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases are the most prevalent.  Most of Chad’s population has only limited access to medical services and essential treatment.  A new SDC-funded project in two districts, Batha (Sahelian region) and Moyen Chari (Sudanian region), aims at reversing this trend.  It improves the quality of health care services with a particular focus on reducing maternal and child health mortality and morbidity.  In order to improve Chad’s situation, SCIH together with the Chadian NGO Centre de Support en Santé internationale (CSSI) are implementing the 4-year “Yao and Danamadji Health Districts Support Project”. 

 

A national planning workshop, attended by 48 people representing the project’s stakeholders, took place in N’Djaména on 4-5 June 2014. Activities and expected outcomes were discussed across the different local and national partners involved in the project.  This CHF 12 million project will operate in a low-income, weak health system capacity environment, in districts with diverse ethnic groups, nomadic pastoralists, and migrants originating from neighboring Sudan and the Central African Republic.


Swiss TPH has been active in Chad since the late 80’s and has implemented a number of development and research projects in diverse areas such as health system strengthening, improving urban health and social services, as local fund agent (LFA) for the Global Fund, and establishing joint human and animal health services.

Update on progress of Second Generation Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP2)

As part of a series of country and community consultations, Dr. Vanessa Racloz, RBM GMAP2 focal point, and Dr. Nicolaus Lorenz, SCIH’s Director, visited with villagers on a rubber plantation in Myanmar to learn how malaria affects their lives

The process of developing the second Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP2) for the period 2016-2025 is driving ahead. The phase of regional level consultations has been completed. The focus is now on country consultations to ensure the GMAP2 is responsive to country needs and realities. The in-country process starts off by talking with affected communities, community development workers, first line health workers, district and regional staff. The views of these key stakeholders are put at the centre of national level consultations that involve a broad multisectoral audience including civil society, the private sector, academia, donors and Government representatives from different sectors and levels.


Consultations have been held in India, the Philippines, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire and Papua New Guinea so far. Countries from different regions and at various stages on the pathway to elimination are all being encouraged to take part. A toolkit of materials to facilitate a consultation is now available. Visit GMAP2.org to find out more and participate in the process of creating the GMAP2 document.

First Summer School for Ukrainian Health Care Managers

Signing of MoU between Tajikistan and Swiss representatives committing to work together in family medicine delivery.

While there is little good news coming out of eastern Ukraine presently, there is promise for improved health care management amidst the aftermath of revolution and separatists battles.  Last June 18-22, the first Ukrainian Swiss Summer School on Health Care Management that took place in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine has been a widely recognized success.  It was inspired by the Swiss Summer School in Public Health Policy, Economics, and Management in Ticino, Switzerland.  The Summer School creates an up-to-date European platform for Ukrainian health care managers willing to support health system reforms.  Encouraged and supported by SDC, additional support and participation comes from The World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, and the Ukraine Ministry of Health.


The format of the course proved to be well suited especially in these ‘post revolutionary’ times. Senior decision maker and managers met to discuss reform policies, plans to restructure the health care system, and practical development projects for their facilities. National and international lectures contributed to the success.


Together with our main partner, the School of Public Health of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (National University, Ukraine) we are currently developing a concept to put the Summer School on a long term bases. Plans are further to establish this Summer School as a unique platform for national debate and opportunity for continuous education for health care managers.

World Health Organization designates Swiss TPH as Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology and Control of Helminth Infections

The efficacy and safety of anti-helminth drugs, such as those being dispensed in an ethnic minority community in China, is being tested by Swiss TPH research studies.

Worms deserve our uttermost attention. More than half of the world’s human population is at risk of having one, or several different worm infections (called helminthiases), and 900 million children are currently in need of treatment. The impact of these parasites on health cannot be overestimated: they cause many people to suffer from diarrhoea or stomach ache, cause growth retardation and anaemia, and some even are the root causes of certain types of cancer. Despite the heavy burden suffered by the world’s poorest, diseases such as soil-transmitted helminthiasis, filariasis/elephantiasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and trematodiasis are largely neglected. Swiss TPH has moved research and control of worm infections to centre stage. Acknowledging these important efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has now appointed Swiss TPH as a «WHO Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology and Control of Helminth Infections». The work Swiss TPH will embark on under this label comprises training, mapping of risk areas, evaluating existing and developing new diagnostic tools, screening of new substances for their effectiveness against parasitic worms and supporting countries in mounting their control programs. All these initiatives contribute to the ultimate aim - to enable people a worm-free life. 

Recent Event: Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine Conference (SESAM14), June 12-14, Poznan, Poland

Simulation centres set up under the Swiss Ukrainian Mother and Child Health Programme were featured at the SESAM14 Conference in Poland

Several staff from SCIH’s Ukrainian and Basel offices attended SESAM 2014, an annual gathering of simulation users from all over the world (more than 35 countries represented) for an exchange and compare efforts to use simulation in health care for training and research.  SCIH’s Ukrainian staff presented a poster about the “Establishment of Simulation Centres in four Perinatal Hospitals in Ukraine”, an activity conducted within the framework of the SDC-funded Swiss-Ukrainian Mother and Child Health Programme.  This SCIH-implemented programme contributes to national reform efforts such as decentralized care, de-medicalization of pregnancies and quality improvement of services and family health.  The Programme has a large ICT component to improve access to information for health professionals in the Ukraine, fostering professional networks and establishing a Telemedicine platform through which information can be exchanged.

Recent Event: Swiss TPH PSM Experts Workshop, 22-25 July, 2014 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The PSM team (left to right) - Pisak Long, Christine Perrier, Antoine Messan Ganfeld, Astrid Lannuzel, Emmanuel Wint, Hans Peter Bollinger, Javier Utande Caballo, Ana Brou Santiago, Janet Kimeu – visits the Drugs Central Medical Store, CAMEG, in Ouagadougou

The annual Swiss TPH PSM workshop took place in Ouagadougou for a week in July. The entire PSM (Procurement and Supply Management) Team of Swiss TPH gathered to harmonize and standardize the different approaches and methods that are used to respond to the Global Fund’s requirements and reporting tools.  It was an opportunity to share experiences on other complementary area of expertise and enhance PSM.  The PSM workshop allowed the PSM experts to capitalize experience and methods to conduct, for example, a Central Medical Store assessment, a Long Lasting Insecticide treated bed nets (LLIN) mass campaign distribution spot check, and a spraying strategy of Bendiocarb evaluation.  The PSM team also has the chance to visit the country’s Drugs Central Medical Store, such as the CAMEG in Ouagadougou.

New Publication: A Short History of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)

Swiss TPH has turned seventy. The small “Tropeli”, founded by Rudolf Geigy in May 1944, has developed into a renowned global health institute over the years. The small book “From the STI to the Swiss TPH” recounts the history of Swiss TPH from its very beginnings. The publication has been supported by the R. Geigy-Foundation.  The history of Swiss TPH is a story of maintaining traditions, and of new beginnings. The original small Institute – almost a family affair – has grown into an institution that enjoys worldwide recognition. Nevertheless, many of the basic principles that were characteristic of the Institute in the 1940s have still survived to this day. For example, there is still a close connection between teaching, research and service provision. And there is still a close relationship and constant exchange between laboratory research and its application in the field or in the fight against neglected diseases.   In this richly illustrated book written for the general public - the two authors Niklaus Weiss and Lukas Meier explore the changes as well as the continuities in the history of Swiss TPH. The book is available from the Swiss TPH library.

Newly Awarded

Swiss TPH provides backstopping support to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the health domain
SDC has awarded the Swiss TPH a new backstopping mandate, continuing the Institute’s role in providing technical advice on global health issues, trends and contextual solutions.
Switzerland is playing an active role on the global level to promote health and universal human rights. To advance SDC's concentration on health as one of its thematic domains, SDC has again selected SCIH to lead the Institute’s Backstopping mandate (BSM) for technical support to SDC staff.  SCIH has been providing this high-level support to SDC in the field of international health since 1994.  SCIH will continue to provide expertise and advice from across the Swiss TPH in priority areas and to foster knowledge transfer within SDC. Swiss TPH backstopping support includes: capturing good practices of SDC and others with newsletters, updates, etc.; advice to policy and strategy development and dialogue; research and studies to support programming; capacity-building for SDC's collaborators and partners; supporting SDC at conferences and meetings; as well as technical advice in elaborating guidelines and toolkits.

 

Health for all: SCIH supports Albania's health sector reform
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has selected the to prepare and implement the Health Reform for Inclusive Access and Better Quality of Services project in Albania.
Albania’s health system is currently undergoing a major transformation. Its aim is to provide high quality health services not just for the lucky few but for the population as a whole. A new project financed by SDC and implemented by Swiss TPH works towards this end. SCIH will oversee the general management of the project and provide technical assistance on a broad range of areas including health reform, strengthening health management capacity, improving the quality of care, CME, health promotion, governance and social inclusion. Terre des Hommes and Save the Children, partners in the SCIH team, will lead implementation of activities at regional, district and local levels in Albania.  SDC supports the endeavor with CHF 10 million over a four-year period.


The project supports the country’s health reform from various angles. Major activities comprise capacity building (Continuing Medical Education, CME) and health governance and financing, as well as assisting the School of Health Management in its institutional development. Activities will especially include: a modular course for managers from prefectures, districts and communes; ensuring cooperation with regional and local governments; increasing capacities of health professionals (doctors, nurses and mid-wives) at the primary health care (PHC) level through peer review groups, mentoring and e-health; investing in the rehabilitation and equipment of PHC infrastructure; and setting-up health promotion programmes for communities and health professionals.

 

Supporting the introduction of a National Health Insurance Agency NHIA in Nepal
The Swiss TPH has been contracted by GIZ to support the Nepal Ministry of Health and Population in implementing an “Insurance Management Information System” (IMIS) for the national health insurance scheme presently being developed in Nepal. The Swiss TPH together with its partner organisations Micro Insurance Academy (MIA), Bonn, and MEH Consultants, Kathmandu, will assist the Nepalese government in transferring and adapting the IMIS system developed in Tanzania within the SDC-funded HPSS project for the “CHF Iliyoboreshwa”, the reformed Community Health Funds.  After roll-out and testing, the Tanzania system developed by SCIH is gaining interest internationally.  The new Nepal system will be piloted in three districts in 2014.  The project kicked-off with a first mission in May to Nepal.  Manfred Stoermer in the Health Economics and Financing Group Leader at SCIH and Ralf Radermacher of the Micro Insurance Academy carried out an initial assessment for defining the organisational structures and the business processes for the NHIA.

 

Kick-start Project Kicks off in Mozambique in September
The SCIH, in collaboration with Jembi Health Systems NPC, from South Africa, was awarded a grant by the University of Basel to conduct a kick start workshop in Mozambique to conceptualize a joint project focused on strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Mozambique through the introduction of new approaches for community-based death registration.

Publications

A Short History of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
Swiss TPH has turned seventy. The small “Tropeli”, founded by Rudolf Geigy in May 1944, has developed into a renowned global health institute over the years. The small book “From the STI to the Swiss TPH” recounts the history of Swiss TPH from its very beginnings. The publication has been supported by the R. Geigy-Foundation.  The history of Swiss TPH is a story of maintaining traditions, and of new beginnings. The original small Institute – almost a family affair – has grown into an institution that enjoys worldwide recognition. Nevertheless, many of the basic principles that were characteristic of the Institute in the 1940s have still survived to this day. For example, there is still a close connection between teaching, research and service provision. And there is still a close relationship and constant exchange between laboratory research and its application in the field or in the fight against neglected diseases.   In this richly illustrated book written for the general public - the two authors Niklaus Weiss and Lukas Meier explore the changes as well as the continuities in the history of Swiss TPH. The book is available from the Swiss TPH library.

 

 

Joining the SCIH

Mr. Patrick Bergman has joined the SCIH Systems Performance and Management Unit (SPMU) Global Fund Local Fund Agent (LFA) team.  Patrick has 17 years of specialized experience in public financial management and audit, covering all phases of the project management cycle, from initiation through closing audit. He has experience with many international organizations, such as the EU (territorial cooperation, 7th Framework programme), InterAmerican Development Bank, UNDP, GEF (Global Environmental Facility) and as Global Fund as LFA (in Suriname). He will join the SCIH in August 2014 as Team Leader/Finance expert based in Lao PDR.