GLOHRA Research Projects

The German Alliance for Global Health Research (GLOHRA) is proud to contribute to global health research by supporting interdisciplinary pilot projects, cross-sector projects and global health fellowships.

Research projects are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

MARS: Mosquito-based artemisinin resistance surveillance

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Welmoed van Loon, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

International Team Lead(s): Dr. Esto Bahizire, Université Catholique de Bukavu, DR Congo

This research project aims to address the imminent threat of artemisinin resistant (AR) malaria in East Africa. The team will validate and evaluate mosquito-based AR surveillance (MARS) in Eastern DR Congo. In parallel, spatial data on potential AR hotspots will be generated, providing guidance for targeted vector control. The impact of this project extends beyond the DR Congo, as the cost-effective MARS approach could be scaled up to enhance surveillance strategies in other regions of Africa, contributing to a better and faster response to emerging hotspots of antimalarial drug resistance.

Planned Duration: July 2023 - June 2025

Focus Areas: antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, health policy

CaLioS: Improving cancer-related health literacy using online stories in sub-Saharan Africa, illustrated by the example of Kenya

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Stefanie Harsch, Albert-​Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

This project aims to use digital stories to promote cancer literacy in Kenya. Objectives include closing the digital informational divide, improving well-being, and reducing cancer mortality. The study involves qualitative interviews, developing an evidence-based intervention and conducting a feasibility study. The interdisciplinary project draws on expertise from medicine, psychology, public health, education, communication, and media studies. Collaboration with international researchers and sharing findings with stakeholders are prioritized.

Planned Duration: June 2023 - May 2025

Focus Areas: cancer / oncology, patient education & health literacy

InnoCOV: Innovation policies for resilient biomedical R&D systems: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic innovation response

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Rosa Jahn, Universität Heidelberg

This project aims to comprehensively study the COVID-19 vaccine innovation system to generate evidence, legal insights, and ethical considerations for sustainable and equitable innovation policies. The approach involves mapping the innovation system, analyzing the impact of COVID-19 policies on vaccine innovation and access, and conducting normative and socio-legal analyses of relevant negotiations. The interdisciplinary and multi-pronged approach should lead to meaningful recommendations which inform the Global Health Strategy of the German Federal Government.

Planned Duration: June 2023 - May 2025

Focus Areas: health policy, vaccine development, global health governance

PHONIC: Public health operations for climate change action - Development of a framework to identify priority operations

Cross-sector Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. med. Karin Geffert, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Dr. Franziska Matthies Wiesler, Helmholtz Zentrum München; Maike Voss, Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit (KLUG)

This research project aims to assess and prioritize public health operations addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. The interdisciplinary team will draw on existing evidence and expert interviews to develop an evidence-informed umbrella framework and a sub-framework of public health operations with indicators, which they will pilot in Germany and Kenya. The project's impact potential is substantial, offering decision-makers a practical tool to prioritize actions and address the health effects of climate change. Additionally, it fosters collaboration between public health and climate sectors, strengthens existing networks and facilitates new collaborations. 

Planned Duration: April 2023 - September 2024

Focus Areas: climate change and health, health policy

MisInfo Vaccines: Drivers of misinformation, gender disparity and masculinity on vaccination decision-making among caregivers in sub-Saharan Africa

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Collins G. Adeyanju, Universität Erfurt

This project seeks to explore the factors informing childhood vaccination decision-making in Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria. Previous studies have identified immense disparities in childhood immunization coverage between boys and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, in part due to misinformation that vaccines cause infertility in women among other socio-cultural factors. Drawing on communication science, gender studies and psychology, this project investigates the factors contributing to the gender gap, the drivers of misinformation and the role of men/fathers as patriarchal heads of households in vaccination decision-making, ultimately aiming to improve immunization initiatives for children and adolescents.

Planned Duration: November 2022 - October 2024

Focus Areas: child and adolescent health, patient education & health literacy, sociology of health, infectious diseases, health policy

Mobile TB Lab: Diagnostic algorithm for peripheral lymph node tuberculosis using portable station

Cross-sector Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Sophie Schneitler, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes; Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed, Universität Leipzig; Prof. Dr. Martin Siegel, Technische Universität Berlin

This project will draw on a trilateral collaboration between European partners and institutions from Africa and Asia in order to support tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics. The main project objective is to introduce mobile diagnostic capabilities and capacity for peripheral lymph node TB in low resource settings in Uganda and Bangladesh. The strategy will follow a 4Ds concept: Decentralization of diagnostics; Deliver results in short time; Deliver tests to poor resource settings; Decrease the operation costs.

Planned Duration: November 2022 - October 2024

Focus Areas: infectious diseases, diagnostics, e-health/m-health

Racism and mental health: A qualitative study with humanitarian workers

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Hannah Strohmeier, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Racism has been acknowledged as a social determinant of health, yet evidence for the prevalence of racism within humanitarian organizations has barely been systematically researched, and vast gaps in knowledge and data exist. This qualitative study will capture the voices of national and international humanitarian workers on their experiences of racism in humanitarian organizations, with a specific focus on the effects on mental health. Its ultimate objective is to support stakeholders (humanitarian practitioners, academics, and donors) in taking informed, evidence-based action to address racism in humanitarian organizations.

Planned Duration: November 2022 - October 2024

Focus Areas: global mental health, occupational health, sociology of health

AI-TB Screening Tool: Development of a novel, easy-to-use digital tuberculosis screening tool informed by machine learning approaches

Interdisciplinary Pilot Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): PD Dr. Claudia Denkinger, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg; Prof. Dr. Lena Maier-Hein, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide. Delayed and missed diagnoses are key drivers of TB-related mortality and community transmission and systematic TB screening approaches need to be improved. Drawing on the interdisciplinary team's expertise, the overall goal of this project is to use machine learning to develop an easy-to-use digital tool that combines information from multiple sources and can be implemented in resource-limited settings to improve screening for active TB disease, a WHO TB control priority.

This team has received funding for an additional Impact Booster from the BMZ to translate the findings of their research project into practice and policy in Zambia and Kenya. The project will support implementation of the tool developed in the first phase of the project.  It will also enable a strong and sustainable partnership that can identify additional opportunities to develop, assess, and introduce other innovative digital tools that improve TB care and train the next generation of researchers.

Planned Duration: June 2022 - May 2024

Focus Areas: e-health / m-health, infectious disease, biomedical imaging & modeling

SWAPNO: Safe Water – Advances in purification options

Cross-sector Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Amanda Wendt, Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung; Dr. Martin Maier, Universität Heidelberg; Dr. Charlotte Stirn, AGAPE e.V.

Drinking water quality in Bangladesh has and continues to be a critical public health issue. This multidisciplinary team builds on their prior work in Bangladesh to address the adverse health effects from contaminated drinking water. Their aim is to finalize the development of a low-cost water treatment system for further scale-up in South Asia. To reach this objective, the research team will conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial to test this water use system’s impact on health in the study community.

Planned Duration: May 2022 - April 2024

Focus Areas: hygiene and patient safety; water, sanitation and hygiene; rural development and health

IndoCerCa: Community cervical cancer screening and prevention in Indonesia

Cross-sector Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Prof. Dr. Jörg Haier, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover; Prof. Peter Hillemanns, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover; Prof. Ralph Lellé, Universitätsklinikum Münster

International Team Lead(s): Supriyatiningsih Wenang, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta/PKU Muhammadiyah Gamping Teaching Hospital (Indonesia); Dwi Astuti, Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia)

This research project involves designing, implementing and testing a community-based screening approach for HPV in Indonesia. The team includes more than 10 individuals from academic and non-academic institutions in Germany and Indonesia. The overarching and long-term goal of this research project is to establish clinically effective, cost-effective and desirable community strategies to make possible the elimination of cervical cancer.

This team has received funding for an additional Impact Booster from the BMZ to translate the findings of their research project into practice and policy in Indonesia. The project combats barriers to screening programs related to cancer literacy. The team will create communication materials and training concepts for laypersons and healthcare professionals to improve their understanding of HPV-based screening for cervical cancer.

Planned Duration: November 2021 – October 2023

Focus Areas: women's health, prevention, cancer, health literacy

WELLPAK: Integration of digital mental health intervention at community level in Pakistan

Cross-sector project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Prof. Dr. Hajo Zeeb and Dr. Maham Saleem, Leibniz-Institut für Präventionsforschung und Epidemiologie - BIPS; PD Dr. Markus Kösters, Universität Ulm

Bringing together academic, civil society and policy actors in both Germany and Pakistan, this project aims to digitally adapt the WHO transdiagnostic intervention for common mental health disorders and pioneer this digital intervention in Islamabad, Pakistan. If proven feasible and acceptable this project will not only harness digital technologies for mental health issues but will also positively impact the uptake of these technologies for other health issues of the country. 

This team has received funding for an additional Impact Booster from the BMZ to translate the findings of their research project into practice and policy in Pakistan. The supplemental project aims to enhance the adaptation of a digital platform that is fully integrated into the routine work of lady healthcare workers, engage policy makers and scale-up the intervention. Capacity-building measures will help support early career researchers and community health workers.

Planned Duration: August 2021 – July 2023

Focus Areas: global mental health, e-health / m-health

Diarrhea, fiber and colon cancer: Environmental contributions to low colon cancer risk in sub-Saharan Africa

Global Health Postdoc Fellowship

GLOHRA Fellow: Dr. Sören Ocvirk, Deutsche Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

This study proposes a novel mechanism for colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention. The team will examine a population with low risk for colon cancer, individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, with special attention to the role of dietary fiber consumption and pathogenic intestinal bacteria. Insights could have implication for targeted prevention of CRC in high-risk groups.

Planned Duration: May 2021 – April 2023

Focus Areas: nutrition, agriculture and health, prevention, cancer

IMPEDE-CVD: Human centered design to adapt and inform an integrated chronic disease management program

Cross-sector Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Prof. Dr. Felix Knauf, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Dr. Shannon McMahon-Rössle, Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, both Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg; Dr. Julius Emmrich, Dr. Samuel Knauss, both mTOMADY gGmbh

International Team Lead(s): Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, Makerere University & ACCESS Uganda

Research meets implementation in this digital health project in Uganda. The team aims to assess the feasibility, acceptability, perception, and usefulness of a mobile phone-based program to detect and manage cardiovascular disease in a rural community in Uganda. This will ideally improve the detection and management of chronic diseases and reduce their financial burden in resource-poor communities.

This team has received funding for an additional Impact Booster from the BMZ to translate the findings of their research project into practice and policy in Uganda. The team aims to integrate the expertise of diverse stakeholder groups, including policy makers, to support sustainable implementation. The project will also provide support for early career researchers and expand the study area to ensure greater access to the platform.  

Planned Duration: May 2021 - April 2023

Focus Areas:  non-communicable disease, e-health / m-health

Completed Research Projects

RESAMP: Reducing schistosomiasis through aquaculture interventions in Madagascar: a pilot study

interdisciplinary Pilot Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Daniela Fusco & Dr. Ralf Krumkamp, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine; Prof. Amena Almes Ahmad & Juliane Boenecke, Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg

International Team Lead(s): Nicolas Jouanard, Université de Fianarantsoa, Madagascar; Prof. Rivo Andry Rokotoarivelo & Dr. Tahinamandranto Rasamoelina, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar; Prof. Raphaël Rakotozandrindrainy, Centre d'Infectiologie Charles Mérieux (CICM), Madagascar

The RESAMP research project aims to assess the feasibility of implementing an aquaculture intervention in rice fields in Madagascar as a potential infection control measure to reduce the transmission of schistosomiasis. The project is organized around three thematic areas i.e., aquaculture, public health and ecology. Ultimately the experienced European-African team seeks to collect sufficient data to serve as a proof of concept for scaling up the novel farming intervention to achieve broader health, social and ecological benefits. 

This team has received funding for an additional Impact Booster from the BMZ to translate the findings of their research project into practice and policy in Madagascar. The project will include support for an ecological assessment, field activities and for promoting the dissemination of findings in Madagascar across policy makers and stakeholders.  

Planned Duration: September 2021 – February 2023

Focus Areas: tropical diseases, agriculture and health, neglected and poverty-related diseases, nutrition

View Project Report


PROTECT: Protect migrant healthcare workers: closing a gap in Germany’s pandemic preparedness and global health policy

Interdisciplinary Pilot Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Dr. Ellen Kuhlmann and PD Dr. Alexandra Jablonka, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover; Dr. Frank Müller, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen

International Team Lead(s): Dr. Marius-Ionut Ungureanu, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Protecting migrant healthcare workers (HCWs) is an important dimension of pandemic preparedness. This pilot project introduces a ‘syndemic’ approach to COVID-19 with a focus on higher-skilled; it connects health policy/system and actor-centred approaches. The study investigates perceptions and needs of migrant HCWs, drawing on survey data gathered at Hannover Medical School and in-depth qualitative research with Romanian physicians in Germany, and explores policy solutions. It aims to improve migrant HCW protection and contribute to effective health workforce policy and European/global responses to HCW shortage and resilience.

Planned Duration: May 2022 - April 2023

Focus Areas: pandemic preparedness & response, migration and health, health policy

See publications on our media page

View Project Report


HelmSys: The impact of helminth infections on vaccine outcomes in humans – A systematic literature review

Interdisciplinary Pilot Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): Prof. Dr. Clarissa Prazeres da Costa, Prof. Dr. Stefanie Klug, Technische Universität München; Dr. Meral Esen, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Reflecting on the pivotal role of vaccines in prevention and control of infectious diseases, this interdisciplinary project seeks to systematically review and analyze the impact of helminth co-infections on the efficacy of routinely used and novel vaccines such as COVID-19. Insights from this project will help generate knowledge translation resources to inform clinical and public health practice guidelines, design studies investigating optimal vaccination schedules and formulate strategies for optimal anti-helminthic regimens.

Planned Duration: November 2021 - February 2023

Focus Areas: vaccine development, neglected and poverty-related diseases, tropical diseases

MeasureGender: Measuring gender-based discrimination to better understand maternal mortality

Interdisciplinary Pilot Project

GLOHRA Team Lead(s): PD. Dr. med. Wilm Quentin, Technische Universität Berlin and Prof. Dr. Manuela De Allegri, Heidelberg University

In a nutshell: Drawing on sociological and medical perspectives, this project aims to develop a culturally adapted tool for measuring gender-based discrimination. The team hopes that the tool, Measure-Gender, developed via field research and interviews, can be used in future surveys to improve our understanding of the relationship between gender-based discrimination and maternal health outcomes.

Planned Duration: May 2021 - April 2022

Focus Areas: women's health, maternal health, health care research

See publications on our media page.

View Project Report