24.05.2023 Melissa Penny, Andrew Shattock, Irène Dietschi
Modelling the Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in All of Its Twists and Turns

Prof Melissa Penny, Dr Andrew Shattock (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel) and colleagues have contributed to the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 dynamics and public health interventions for the pandemic. Their research has been relevant for the Swiss government and policy makers in other countries.

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22.03.2023 Sebastien Gagneux, Valerie March, Christian Auer, Sarah Schmidiger, Damien Portevin, Klaus Reither, Charles Abongomera, Suzanne Gajewski
World Tuberculosis Day 2023: Yes! We can end TB!

To mark World TB Day 2023, we spoke to some of our experts here at Swiss TPH about their work on tuberculosis (TB), the highlights and impact of their research, why they are committed to TB, and what they think is needed to tackle TB as a public health problem.

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20.03.2023 Christian Auer
Tuberculosis – time to act decisively!

At the end of the 1940s, about 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants died of tuberculosis in Switzerland each year. Today, the figure is around 0.2 per 100,000 inhabitants per year. In Lesotho, on the other hand, the figure is a thousand times higher: in 2021, 234 people per 100,000 died of tuberculosis. How can this be? These and other questions in the fight to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) will be addressed at the hybrid TB Symposium on 21-22 March 2023 at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Read more about the symposium at the end of the article. Below we present global TB facts and some TB figures from Switzerland.

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09.03.2023 Talia Salzmann and Fenella Beynon
Are Clinical Decision Support Systems the future?

Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) – digital tools that help healthcare providers deliver evidence-based care – can improve the quality of care in resource-constrained settings. We spoke to Talia Salzmann, CDSS coordinator, and Fenella Beynon, Head of the Digital Health Unit at Swiss TPH, about the benefits and challenges of CDSS and what it takes to use them successfully.

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24.02.2023 Helen Prytherch
Strengthening public health in times of war

One year has passed since Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine - an operation that military experts predicted would be over within days. But the war is still ongoing. How can a public health project be run under such circumstances? How do local people work under these challenging and life-threatening conditions? Read the story about our local colleagues in the country.

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14.12.2022 Irène Dietschi for UNI NOVA
"Many zoonoses are being forgotten in the wake of corona."

Since the end of the 20th century, a growing number of pathogens are spreading from animals to humans. Jakob Zinsstag studies these zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses, and explores how a new understanding of medicine can help fight them.

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12.12.2022 Helen Prytherch, Dragos Dobre, Daniella Majakari, Siddharth Srivastava, Patrick Delcroix, Damien Revault
Supporting countries on their path to universal health coverage

Every year, 100 million people are pushed into poverty because they have to pay out of pocket for healthcare. To make sure that people can access health services without financial hardship, many countries have committed to ensuring universal health coverage and social protection. Swiss TPH provides tailor-made support to these countries.

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01.12.2022 Maja Weisser
World AIDS Day 2022 - Equity for all!

This years’ World AIDS Day slogan is "EQUALIZE". It is a call to action to address the ongoing inequalities holding back progress in ending AIDS. While a lot has been achieved, in some parts of the world HIV infection rates are increasing again, endangering the successes to date.

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03.11.2022 Kristina Pelikan, Fayiz Mahamat Abakar, Monique Lechenne, Jakob Zinsstag
Multiscale transmission dynamics of rabies in Africa: The urban-rural interface

Researchers at Swiss TPH have launched a new project focused on rabies control in Chad with the help of artificial intelligence. Read more about how the research project takes a transdisciplinary One Health approach and uses public engagement and multilingual communication to achieve results.

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10.10.2022 Salvador Camacho
No health without mental health

On World Mental Health Day, we spoke with Salvador Camacho, technical expert at Swiss TPH, about how a unique approach using computer simulations to test youth mental health solutions can guide decision makers on where best to invest to sustainably improve youth mental health and wellbeing.

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19.09.2022 Jasmina Saric
Organizations that bring science to impact – new actors for Sustainable Development?

Currently, world leaders are convening at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. In parallel, the Science Summit is being held, with the central theme being the role and contribution of science in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jasmina Saric reflects on the emergence, role and future of organisations that combine research and implementation for sustainable development. New findings on this topic will be presented at the Science Summit in a session convened by Swiss TPH.

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07.09.2022 Ron Kappeler
Tag der sauberen Luft: Verbesserung der Luftqualität zum Schutz der Gesundheit

Anlässlich des Internationalen Tags der sauberen Luft sprachen wir mit Ron Kappeler, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Swiss TPH, über die Luftdokumentationsstelle LUDOK und den Einfluss von Luftverschmutzung auf Gesundheit.

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06.09.2022 Nicole Probst-Hensch
Coping with emerging public health problems

Nicole Probst-Hensch, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Swiss TPH and Principal Investigator of the most extensive long-term study in Switzerland, talks about the importance of long-term studies and their impact on policy.

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26.07.2022 Zana Aqifi
The significance of effective communication in times of COVID-19

Access to information is a basic human right. In times of crisis, timely and accurate information plays an important role in controlling a situation. Our partners of the AQH project share how effective communication saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo.

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04.07.2022 Jürg Utzinger
How can we prevent the next pandemic? Swiss TPH students meet with Bill Gates

Five graduate students from Swiss TPH had the unique opportunity to participate in the Gates Notes Deep Dive on pandemic prevention. Students from all around the world came together to discuss the question: “How can we prevent the next pandemic?”

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30.06.2022 Claudia Hoffmann
Sanfte Löwin

Ein einschneidendes Erlebnis in der Kindheit prägte Rea Tschopps weiteres Leben. Mit Mut und Beharrlichkeit setzt sich die Tierärztin in Äthiopien für die Gesundheit von Nomaden ein – und behandelt nebenbei kranke Raubtiere im Präsidentenpalast.

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27.06.2022 Martin Röösli
More noise in the sustainability debate

Noise is an integral part of our everyday life. Yet, it is barely ever mentioned in the sustainability debate. Martin Röösli, environmental epidemiologist at Swiss TPH, explains why this urgently needs to change.

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20.06.2022 Afona Chernet
World Refugee Day: Everyone has the right to good healthcare

For World Refugee Day 2022, we spoke with Afona Chernet, a post-doctoral research fellow at Swiss TPH, about his experience in researching migrant and refugee health in Switzerland.

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16.06.2022 Florian Schulte, Martina Ragettli
Einfluss von Hitze auf die Einnahme von gewissen Medikamenten

Am Wochenende erwarten wir die erste Hitzewelle des Sommers in der Schweiz. Die heissen Tage sind nicht nur unangenehm, sondern führen auch zu einer erhöhten Sterblichkeit, vor allem unter der älteren Bevölkerung. Der Hitzesommer 2015 forderte in der Schweiz beispielsweise rund 800 zusätzliche Todesfälle. Dabei spielen vor allem Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen eine grosse Rolle. Und – wie eine Studie aufzeigt – wohl auch die Einnahme von gewissen Medikamenten: solche, die den Blutdruck senken oder harntreibend wirken. Die Dosierung dieser Medikamente sollte an heissen Tagen daher in Absprache mit der betreuenden Ärztin oder dem betreuenden Arzt je nachdem angepasst werden.

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02.05.2022 Meltem Kutlar Joss, Nicole Probst-Hensch
Lufthygiene als Erfolgsfaktor

Die neuen Luftqualitätsleitlinien der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) fordern saubere Luft. Aus Public-Health-Sicht ist jedes Mikrogramm weniger Luftverschmutzung ein grosser Gesundheitsgewinn. Die Luftqualität muss sich national und international weiter verbessern.

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25.04.2022 Christian Lengeler
Malaria eradication requires more than magic bullets

The global community has made impressive strides in malaria control and elimination, but progress has stalled. To reach eradication, we must rethink our approach.

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11.04.2022 Martin Röösli
Warum wir uns mit der Einschätzung von Risiken so schwertun

Egal ob bei tödlichen Krankheiten, radioaktiven Gasen oder 5G-Strahlung: intuitiv schätzen wir unser eigenes Risiko häufig falsch ein. Darum braucht es nun neue Ansätze, um Risiken effektiv zu kommunizieren. Dieser Text entstand als Kolumne für das Wissen-Magazin higgs.ch.

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07.03.2022 Said Abukhattab
One Health initiative for food safety in Palestine

The One Health Initiative for Food Safety aims to develop a One Health approach for Palestine. We spoke to Said Abukhattab, PhD student at Swiss TPH about conducting his research in a politically unstable environment and the importance of one health as a way to improve global health.

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04.03.2022 Julian Dommann
Gut microbes - Friends or foes?

Julian Dommann, Master Student at Swiss TPH, was part of a study that found an association between gut-microbial community and drug efficacy against soil transmitted helminth infections. The original piece was first published on the Nature Portfolio Microbiology Community.

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27.01.2022 Maurice M. Nigo
Fighting parasites in a conflict torn country

Maurice M. Nigo is the Director of the Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicales (ISTM) in Bunia, one of the poorest provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since the 1990s, an armed conflict has been raging in the region, which further escalated in recent years and led to hundreds of thousands of the province’s population to flee their homes. For World Neglected Tropical Disease Day, we spoke to Maurice about his work and hopes for the future.

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13.12.2021 Astrid Tomczak-Plewka
The ‘death rays’ that never were

To anti-5G activists he’s like a red rag to a bull: Martin Röösli, a professor for environmental epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel. But early on in his career, he was as sceptical towards the new technologies as his opponents are today.

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08.12.2021 Lara Quarterman, Nicholas Metheny, Carmen Sant Fruchtman, and Vandana Sharma
The ‘shadow pandemic’ requires more than a shadow response

Thirty years on and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (GBV) is as important now as it was in its first year. Starting annually on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and running for sixteen days until December 10, World Human Rights Day, the campaign has long been a rallying point for activists to demand change.

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24.11.2021 ICRC Nigeria
In Nigeria, an electronic application improves quality of health care for children

An electronic application is improving the quality of health care for children under five years old. ALMANACH, short for the Algorithm for the Management of Childhood Illness, is a user-friendly application that can be installed on tablets or smartphone and is being used by nurses and community health extension workers to properly diagnose and treat common childhood diseases.

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22.11.2021 Esther Künzli
Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic

For Antimicrobial Awareness Week, Esther Künzli, Ad Interim Head of the Travel Clinic and Infectious Disease Specialist, joined us to speak about the silent killer that is currently being overshadowed by COVID-19: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In this interview, we explore topics such as the history of AMR, the impact that is has on individuals and societies, and the need for immediate and coordinated action.

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11.11.2021 Prisca Parpan
A Full Focus on Continuing Education: Portrait of a Career Changer

Pierina Maibach has been responsible for communications and media at SolidarMed in Lucerne, Switzerland since September 2020. The organization's core mission is to work with local partners to strengthen health systems and improve primary health care in rural Africa. The focus is on mother-child health and infectious diseases, but also non-communicable diseases.

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05.11.2021 Prisca Parpan
Hybrid Learning Brings New Possibilities

The MBA in International Health Management (MBA-IHM) has been on the road to success since it launched in 2013. Behind the comprehensive programme structure lies a great deal of work and organization. In an interview with the main drivers of the MBA-IHM — Julia Bohlius, Axel Hoffmann and Barbara Bürkin — we talk about the early days of the programme, the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and where the programme is headed.

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29.10.2021 Tony Kirby
Improving treatment of helminth infections

The young Jennifer Keiser grew up in Munich, Germany, and followed both her grandfather (a chemist) and her older sister (medicine) into a life of science. While studying in high school, she worked part-time in a pharmacy, and became fascinated by medicinal drugs and their structure and function. “Rather than become a medical doctor, I thought pharmacy would offer the most rewarding career for me”, Keiser told The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Today, she is head of the Helminth Drug Development Unit at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), an associated institute of the University of Basel, in Switzerland.

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20.10.2021 Melissa Penny, Danielle Powell
Melissa Penny speaks about the beauty of disease modelling

Melissa Penny is an applied mathematician at Swiss TPH who has worked in public health and infectious disease modelling for over 15 years. She joins us today to discuss the first malaria vaccine, disease modelling and the future of malaria eradication.

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15.10.2021 Lujain Alchalabi
Overcoming discrimination barriers: a refugee’s journey

Lujain Alchalabi is a Syrian refugee and an Epidemiology master student at Swiss TPH. She came to Switzerland after leaving behind her home and career as a dentist, having no idea what she would do besides seeking safety. By overcoming many challenges through her asylum process, Lujain started an independent life as a student with a part time job. Read on about Lujain’s journey to Switzerland and her recent participation in „Zeit gegen Rassismus” in cooperation Radio X on the topic of racism in academia.

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04.10.2021 Jakob Zinsstag
Spirituality and One Health

What do health and spirituality have to do with each other? Jakob Zinsstag, Head of the Human and Animal Health Unit at Swiss TPH, has worked in many places around the world and met people with different religious and non-religious traditions, views and attitudes. Time and again, he has realised that the understanding of health and well-being has many dimensions and that in his view, a holistic approach to health should include not only scientific but also spiritual aspects.

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28.09.2021 Garmie Voupawoe
World Rabies Day: Early diagnosis and prompt treatment save lives

Rabies is deadly, but 99.9% vaccine-preventable. Children under 15 years in rural communities around the globe are at higher risk of being exposed to rabies. Controlling rabies widespread in endemic countries will largely depend on responsible dog owners, dog mass vaccination, awareness, and the appropriate administration of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for bite victims. Garmie Voupawoe, a PhD student at Swiss TPH, talks about his research on rabies burden and control in Liberia.

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28.09.2021 Peter Steinmann
Using innovative new tools to advance progress in NTDs

Great strides have been made in the fight against neglected tropical diseases over the past 20 years, but the global burden is still considerable. In order to end the neglect, novel tools and innovative approaches are needed.

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06.07.2021 Jakob Zinsstag, Lensse Gobu, Rea Tschopp and Mohammed Ibrahim Abdikadir
World Zoonoses Day: The Jigjiga One Health Initiative

The specific needs of nomadic pastoralist communities are often not considered in public services. This is also the case in the health sector. In Ethiopia, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is supporting the establishment of a regional One Health centre of excellence with the aim to improve the health and wellbeing of pastoralist communities in the Horn of Africa.

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24.06.2021 Masa Davidović & Temi Adebayo
Twitter for Academics

For academics, the platform is becoming more popular. Twitter allows you to easily promote your research and build your network by providing links to your professional achievements, journal articles, research findings or topics of interest and reach a large number of people through tweets and retweets. At first, having an additional social network account may look overwhelming; however learning how to use this tool in the right way is very straightforward.

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20.06.2021 Barbara Matthys
World Refugee Day: together we heal, learn and shine

Access to healthcare is an additional burden for forcibly displaced people, which adds to their already extremely difficult situations. On World Refugee Day, Swiss TPH is proud to engage in several projects pertaining to refugees and migrant health. Barbara Matthys, a public health specialist at Swiss TPH, speaks about one project in particular: the Digital System for Better Health Care Management of Refugee Project (SysRef).

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19.05.2021 Jürg Utzinger
Can Switzerland beat COVID-19, Jürg Utzinger?

Jürg Utzinger is the Director of Swiss TPH and a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Basel. His research and teaching focuses on neglected tropical diseases and the health effects of large-scale projects in low- and middle-income countries. He spoke to the University of Basel about Switzerland's handling of the pandemic so far from an epidemiological perspective.

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17.05.2021 Andrea Leuenberger
The power of film in research

Andrea Leuenberger, a young researcher at Swiss TPH, was one of the PhD students who participated in the Digital Storytellers project of the r4d programme, a Swiss programme that supports research aimed at solving global issues for development, with a focus on low- and middle- income countries. Andrea spoke to us about her work on the health impacts of natural resource extraction on surrounding communities in Tanzania, and the power of storytelling through video in research.

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22.04.2021 Julia Richter, Swiss Malaria Group
World Malaria Day 2021: In the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic

A world without malaria is within reach. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens progress in the fight against malaria. This year's World Malaria Day on 25 April 2021 will draw attention to the fact that further efforts are needed to achieve the goal of a malaria-free world.

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21.04.2021 Christian Lengeler
There is no excuse for the world to still have malaria

Mosquitoes infect millions of people with malaria - a disease that kills a child every two minutes. Most of these deaths occur in the poorest countries with the weakest health systems. Over the past 20 years, much has been invested in malaria prevention and treatment, resulting in the prevention of over 7.6 million malaria deaths. The progress made in the fight against malaria is one of the greatest success stories in global health, however, these successes are threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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16.04.2021 An interview with Kate Molesworth
Surprising trends in unwanted pregnancies and abortion worldwide

When looking at trends in unwanted pregnancies and abortions worldwide, a lot has changed over the past 30 years. The most shocking trend? The number of unwanted pregnancies that end in abortion: 61% to be exact. "The results are alarming and show how desperate women are in some restrictive country settings: they terminate unwanted pregnancies, even though they can be punished by law, and they risk becoming infected or even dying as a consequence," says Kate Molesworth.

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05.04.2021 Marcel Tanner
COVID-19: Have we learned anything from previous lessons?

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in serious collateral damage to many health and social systems worldwide; especially in Africa. At the same time, the crisis also revealed great potential for innovation in research and development of new drugs and vaccines.

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01.04.2021 Martina Ragettli & Martin Röösli
A triple win awaits

As with COVID-19, the global health impacts of climate change are difficult to imagine but scientifically predictable. In the COVID-19 crisis, we were forced to change behaviours that had rarely been questioned in our daily routine. If we do not just dismiss 2020 and go back to life as we knew it, but rather let these experiences guide us, a triple win beckons: improving public health, creating a sustainable economy and protecting the environment.

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31.03.2021 Tamsin Lee and Carmen Sant
The power of people

Women’s History Month marks a special time in our calendars. It’s the month in which societies take a moment to recognize and amplify the achievements, contributions, voices and value of women in all their diversity to society. Tamsin Lee and Carmen Sant, two founders of the Diversity & Inclusion network at Swiss TPH, reflect on the two years that have passed since the inauguration of the network, and the work that lies ahead.

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17.03.2021 Sebastien Gagneux
World Tuberculosis Day 2021

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on the 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Robert Koch discovered the TB Bacillus, known today as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. More than 100 years later, TB remains one of humankind’s most deadly infectious diseases. Sebastien Gagneux of Swiss TPH addresses the challenges that we face in the fight against TB and where we are in understanding this deadly pathogen.

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10.03.2021 Michael Deml
Vaccine hesitancy on the rise

Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise worldwide, so much so that the World Health Organization identified it as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. Since the 1950’s vaccines have helped protect millions of people against diseases such as polio, meningitis and hepatitis, with new vaccines being developed all the time. But while vaccines have become more effective and widely available, not everybody wants them. So what’s going on?

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06.03.2021 An interview with Maryam Tavakkoli
Student Spotlight: Maryam Tavakkoli

Maryam Tavakkoli, a PhD student at Swiss TPH, researches road traffic evidence and information systems. "Studying at Swiss TPH has opened so many doors for me, like when I got to travel to the 2019 Unleash innovation lab in China and my dream come true—starting an internship at the WHO headquarters in Geneva."

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03.03.2021 An interview with Astrid Knoblauch
"All those who live under the sky are woven together like one big mat"

Stepping foot in Madagascar for the first time, Astrid Knoblauch was full of anticipation: surrounded by the song of the red fody birds and the vibration of a rusty Peugeot whizzing around, she was about to embark on an adventure that involved diving head-first into a new culture, getting bitten by a Fosa, and the use of drones for healthcare delivery.

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10.02.2021 Günther Fink
Seasonal hunger affects millions - can we fix it?

Even if you have never traveled to rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, you have likely seen the images on TV: the bright orange soil and the beautiful clusters of straw-covered houses surrounded by gorgeous baobab trees and endless fields. But despite this beauty, the image of nature being in perfect harmony is an illusion as seasonal hunger remains a reality for many small-scale farmers, imploring the question: can we fix it?

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