Global Child Health
The AG Global Child Health, led by Dr. med. Andreas Schultz, currently works on a variety of topics.
Together with the Public Health Institute, College of Medicine and Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi as well as the CDC and GIZ in Germany, the seroprevalence and presence of SARS-CoV-2 in selected high-risk populations in Central Africa is investigated. The aim of this study is to shed light on the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in high risk settings and detect viral antigens in asymptomatic individuals. The researcher also apply qualitative research to elicit the knowledge and perception of COVID-19 among different population groups.
A collaboration with the College of Medicine at the University of Malawi and further partners (e.g. Uppsala University) looks into task shifting in global child health, especially to mothers.. This is researched with the example of hypothermia in low resource and emergency settings. The aim of the project is twofold: Firstly, it shall contribute to a reduction of mortality rates in neonates. Secondly, shifting the task of temperature monitoring to mothers may reduce the overall workload of nursing staff.
A third research area of the AG Global Child Health is dedicated to the global health workforce. This project explores how the integration of education and research into community-based patient care is able to create a mutual benefit. It investigates the multi-disciplinary approach of strengthening clinical and non-clinical services, referrals and follow-up through a BSc training program in the Malawi Central Western Region and its impact on the quality of care. It also studies the role, contributions and challenges clinical officers (COs) have experienced to find out if COs are a sustainable response to the needs of rural populations. Policy lessons will be determined for other countries in the region that also use COs to deliver essential care, including the need for career pathways and opportunities, professional recognition and suitable employment options for this important cadre of human resource for health. A collaborative approach is also executed together with partnering institution is Zambia and Sierra Leone
The AG Global Child Health is also planning ot be part of an international ultrasound consortium with partners from Berlin, Hamburg and Lübeck in Germany, Daressalaam and Dodoma in Tanzania, Zomba and Blantyre in Malawi as well as Dhulikhel in Nepal. The consortium is dedicated to provide general and point of care ultrasound (POCUS) in emergency and low resource settings in children. The aim of the accompanying study is to elaborate ways of reducing referrals from secondary institutions by regular visits with portable ultrasound services in the catchment area and to train permanent staff on focussed ultrasound with portable devices to find out about typical and easily detectable conditions, even with limited knowledge of the technique. The clinicians are linked via a messenger application to a consultant to provide real-time consultation on the acquired results. It is intended to find out how these efforts could enhance clinical decision-making and reduce unnecessary referrals.
Section Global Health
Institute of Hygiene and Public Health