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 since autumn 2013.
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. To this day, only few cases of successful attacks with biological agents (e.g. the anthrax attacks in the United States) are documented. However, they have a high potential for fear, panic, severe illness or even death, with possible implications for the environment, finances and everyday life.
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 two cohorts with 32 fellows from 15 different countries have done the GIBACHT fellowship.
GIBACHT cohort 3 has been selected in a competitive process and 18 fellows from 12 countries started in January 2017 the program.
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.