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:

Brunner N.C et al. Starting at the community: treatment-seeking pathways of children with suspected severe malaria in Uganda. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2023;3(7):e0001949. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001949

Fekri Jaski S et al. The first case series of malaria overlapped with COVID-19 in Iran. Trends Med Sci. 2023;3(1):e136527. DOI: 10.5812/tms-136527

Hetzel M.W et al. Pre-referral rectal artesunate: no cure for unhealthy systems. Lancet Infect Dis. 2023;23(6):e213-e217. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(22)00762-9

Hetzel M.W et al. Pre-referral rectal artesunate is no "magic bullet" in weak health systems. BMC Med. 2023;21:119. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-023-02777-y

Lambiris M.J et al. Health system readiness and the implementation of rectal artesunate for severe malaria in sub-Saharan Africa: an analysis of real-world costs and constraints. Lancet Glob Health. 2023;11(2):e256-e264. DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00507-1

Mäser P et al. Key contributions by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute towards new and better drugs for tropical diseases. Chimia. 2023;77(9):593-606. DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2023.593

Okitawutshu J et al. Assessing caregivers' perceptions of treatment-seeking for suspected severe malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Malar J. 2023;22:308. DOI: 10.1186/s12936-023-04737-6