Unit | Health Interventions

The Health Interventions Unit deals with the development and field testing of new health interventions, with a strong focus on malaria. We operate a dual portfolio of service projects and research studies in a number of countries in Africa South of the Sahara (chiefly Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo) and in Papua New Guinea. Because of the very applied nature of our work, we collaborate extensively with the service departments in the institute. We also interact regularly with the Health Systems Research and Dynamical Modelling Unit, as well as with the Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology (MPI) research groups.


Research work deals with the integration of new interventions into the health system (for example injectable or rectal artesunate for the treatment of severe malaria), doing trials of new vaccine candidates, developing new treatment algorithms for children with fever, improving the monitoring and evaluation of national programmes, and finally developing new vector control tools and testing them in the field. All groups also aim to strengthen capacity in malaria-endemic countries on the basis of institutional collaborative arrangements and formal training courses.

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Selected projects at this location:

Awor P et al. Care seeking and treatment of febrile children with and without danger signs of severe disease in Northern Uganda: Results from three household surveys (2018-2020). Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022(in press). DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.21-1132

Brunner N.C et al. Prereferral rectal artesunate and referral completion among children with suspected severe malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda. BMJ Glob Health. 2022;7(5):e008346. DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2021-008346

Fink G et al. Mosquito net use in early childhood and survival to adulthood in Tanzania. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:428-436. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2112524

Lengeler C et al. Community access to rectal artesunate for malaria (CARAMAL): a large-scale observational implementation study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2022;2(9):e0000464. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0000464

Polonsky J.A et al. Feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions against infectious diseases among crisis-affected populations: a scoping review. Infect Dis Poverty. 2022;11(1):14. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-022-00935-7

Runge M et al. Sub-national tailoring of malaria interventions in Mainland Tanzania: simulation of the impact of strata-specific intervention combinations using modelling. Malar J. 2022;21:92. DOI: 10.1186/s12936-022-04099-5

UN-Habitat, Roll Back Malaria Multisectoral Working Group, UNDP. The comprehensive multisectoral action framework: malaria and sustainable development. New York, NY: UNDP, 2022