Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PhD Scholarships in Epidemiology - Swiss Tropical Institute

Neglected Tropical Diseases and integrated demographic
surveillance in mobile pastoralists and their animals in Chad
In the frame work of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation ProDoc
scheme, a PhD position in Epidemiology is open at earliest convenience.

PhD Position in Epidemiology at the human-animal interface
Working places: Basel, Switzerland and N’Djaména, Chad
Remuneration: According to the salary scheme of the Swiss National Science Foundation
Duration 3 years.


Master of Science degree
Registration at the University of Basel
Experience with field work in Africa
Fluency in French, written and spoken
Notions in Arabic are an asset
Suitable candidates have preferably a background in biology, public health, animal
health, population biology or health geography.

Applicants are invited to send:
1. Letter of motivation
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Copies of their diplomas
4. Letters of recommendation
5. Names and addresses of two reference persons
PD Dr. Jakob Zinsstag, Swiss Tropical Institute, PO Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland,
or by email to jakob.zinsstag@unibas.ch, Tel. +41 61 284 81 39

Background and Aims of the Project
Substantial gains have been made in global health, including reductions in overall and
child mortality in developing countries. However, progress remains uneven and there are
growing differences in mortality, morbidity and disease burden rates according to
geographical region. For example, communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal
conditions, and micronutrient deficiencies cluster in the tropics and subtropics, and
contribute to delay the social and economic development. Improving the health and
livelihoods of the global poor could save millions of healthy life years, enhance equity
and alleviate poverty, and hence contribute to achieving the millennium development
goals (MDGs). Certain MDGs are addressed by global alliances and partnerships; e.g. the
control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Fewer efforts are placed on the so-called
neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), e.g. helminth infections and zoonoses. The focus of
this project is on the epidemiology and control of NTDs in semi-arid and humid contexts
in Central and West Africa.

The goal of this proposal is to deepen our understanding of morbidity patterns and
transmission dynamics of NTDs in two eco-epidemiological settings of Africa,
and to study the effects of control interventions aiming at reducing the burden due to
NTDs. This will entail the development of methods and analytical tools for demographic
surveillance of a highly mobile population in Chad, and a rural sedentary population in
south-central Côte d’Ivoire. These demographic surveillance system (DSS) sites will
serve as platforms to monitor changes in morbidity patterns following locally-adapted


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