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The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut as an actor in the Global Health Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

Logo: Gefördert durch BMG aufgrund eines Beschlusses des Deutschen Bundestages

In 2017, the BMG initiated a Global Health Programme (GHP) to improve international health. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut plays an important role in this programme aiming at strengthening national health systems in Africa and facilitating implementation of the international health regulations.

Besides the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, other institutions tasked to improve global health within the GHP are the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, BfArM) and the Bernhard-Nocht-Institut (BNI).

General information

The Global Health Programme Project Team (Source: PEI) The Global Health Programme Project TeamThe Global Health Programme Project Team

As part of its international obligations, Germany has been increasingly committed to support partner countries in outbreak control and in the further development of robust health systems. To this end, the activities are targeted to provide at an international level support in managing emerging infections.

In this context, the aim is to strengthen regulatory authorities above all in Africa. This serves to improve access to medicines, especially vaccines, blood and blood products. One focus of the programme is to monitor and control clinical trials using regulatory instruments. The projects of the GHP are currently conceived for a period of five years.

Role of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut is committed to the following areas:

Module 1: BloodTrain

Availability, safety, and quality of blood and blood products – supporting the development of a regulatory structure and its adaptation to crises in the partner countries.

Project manager: Dr. med. Dorothea Stahl (previously: Prof. Dr. med. Rainer Seitz)

Blood and blood products have been earmarked as essential medicines by the WHO. The GHP supports countries in the target regions of Africa to strengthen their health systems.

Doctor holding test tube with blood test (Source: CDC / Amanda Mills)

Within this setting, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and its partners intend to increase capacities for improving access to blood and blood products for patients. In this context, a well-functioning regulatory structure is important, which guarantees availability, safety, and quality of blood and blood products. An operational health system is also able to adapt appropriately to crisis situations.

The BloodTrain Project supports the development of regulatory structures in the area of blood supply and the adaptation of these structures to crisis situations. That way, it also assumes a role in the field of disaster prevention.

To fulfil the aim of the project, scientific members of staff at the PEI are extensively trained in the scientific and regulatory aspects of the programme. They will analyse the situation at the respective locations in Africa and take the suitable action. This action is taken in agreement with the local authorities and blood donations centres, with whom the PEI will remain in constant dialogue. Extensive structured trainings will also be available for African colleagues (train the trainer).

Module 2: VaccTrain

Regulatory training and advice in the area of vaccines and biomedical therapeutic products.

Project manager: Dr. Christoph Conrad

Testing of Vaccines (Source: A. Buck / PEI)

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has shown that vaccines and therapeutics to curb an epidemic as fast as possible are not available, or at least not to a sufficient extent. Health systems often lack sufficient capacities in such situations. The indispensable clinical trials can, if at all possible, be only organised to a limited extent and with delays.

In this sub-project, the partners intend to make a contribution to the development of the necessary scientific and regulatory capacities locally. This involves the analysis and evaluation of the current situation in the partner countries and the identification of weaknesses. On the basis of the results, a development programme will be created in agreement with the partner countries. Then, the development of regulatory structures and capacities of institutions in the partner country will be supported by co-ordinated training activities and increased collaboration.


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