Due to steadily increasing human mobility, infectious diseases can rapidly spread over long distances. Furthermore, new diseases may emerge or be imported and become endemic in countries whose health systems are unprepared to manage such threats. There is also a danger of deliberate release of infectious agents, or of accidental release while handling or shipping a sample.
In 2013, the German Biosecurity Programme was launched by the German Federal Foreign Office under the auspices of the G7 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. This frameworks programme aims to minimise risks associated with highly pathogenic agents and their potential misuse in partner countries in Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe through awareness raising, capacity building, and scientific exchange. After three initial years, the funding was prolonged for three additional years (2017-2019). Prevention of and dealing with such threats is central for Biosecurity and Biosafety. GIBACHT provides theoretical knowledge on threats and existing prevention and copying strategies. Apart from knowledge, biohazard prevention or situation management requires the ability to solve complex problems by using knowledge and skills for reasonable situation adapted decisions in cooperation with others. To prepare the GIBACHT fellows for biohazard prevention and management, simulation exercises provide practical experience. GIBACHT fellows will themselves develop teaching material and sessions in order to act as multipliers in their country and at their institutes. Since 2015 five cohorts with over 80 fellows from 18 different countries have done the GIBACHT fellowship. All GIBACHT cohorts have been selected in a competitive process.
For each cohort, three on-campus workshops of one-week duration are held in Hamburg and Berlin (Germany) and Kampala (Uganda). The courses will be accompanied and supplemented by structured e-learning modules covering related and relevant topics, which you will find on this website.
The obligatory e-learning modules will be made accessible always in January
Introductory courses were held in in April in Hamburg, Germany,
Real-time simulation of biological incidents in July 2017 in Berlin, Germany,
Case study testing course in October in Kampala, Uganda).
GIBACHT is a joint project of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), and is funded by the German Partnership Programme for Excellence in Biological and Health Security of the Federal Foreign Office.