Collaborations in Global Health

Diseases do not stop at borders. This applies to deadly epidemics such as Ebola and the spread of antibiotic‐resistant bacteria, as well as to noncommunicable diseases like diabetes. Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well‐being for all (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3) is thus a global challenge that must be tackled in international cooperation. Collaborative global efforts are needed to fight and prevent disease.

Mother and child in an African clinic.

Alexandra Longuet

Access to health care and the protection against the risk of contracting a disease are fundamentals for social development and the fight against poverty. Vaccines, drugs and other medical equipment, however, are often
either unavailable or unaffordable for many people especially in low‐ and middle income countries. Global Health deals with questions like: How are diseases diagnosed? How can diseases be treated? What can be done to
strengthen health care systems sustainably?

A global challenge

Countries across the globe face similar challenges: aging populations, the rise of chronic conditions, antibiotic‐resistances, and the threat caused by deadly epidemics. It is, however, the poorest populations that suffer
disproportionately. There is an urgent need to develop strategies, medications and vaccines in order to combat poverty‐related and neglected diseases and stop premature and preventable deaths. Yet due to only minor
profitability, research‐driven pharmaceutical companies usually show limited interest in developing pharmaceuticals for the poor. Without accessible and affordable cures, diseases are turned into neglected diseases and disadvantaged individuals into neglected patients. To change this situation is a global challenge. One step towards change is public funding of research.

A strong German national research community is the basis for successful international cooperation

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) issues project funding at the national level to initiate new projects in areas with major research needs. This includes funding talented young researchers so that they can help expand the German research landscape on neglected and poverty‐related diseases. BMBF also funds the National Research Network on Zoonotic Diseases, which addresses research on animal‐transmitted diseases. Research on these socalled zoonoses is vital, since diseases with major epidemic potential or high fatality rates, like for example influenza, Ebola and others, can be transmitted from humans to animals and vice versa. The National Research Network on Zoonotic Diseases helps to connect research networks, individual projects and junior research groups.

Further information: German Research Platform for Zoonoses

At an institutional level, the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), set up by the BMBF, focuses on pressing issues of infection research. In the field of neglected and poverty‐related diseases, these are primarily malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis which are also tackled in cooperation with African partner institutes.

Further information: DZIF -German Center for Infection Research

Germany is taking responsibility

Public funding can contribute to progresses in Global Health significantly through targeted research and development efforts in cooperation with affected countries. At the same time, high‐income countries can help to strengthen under‐resourced health systems, so that medical innovations can reach the people who need it
most. The BMBF is therefore participating in several international cooperations bundling material, financial and intellectual resources. Germany is taking the responsibility to address the health problems of the world’s poorest.

International efforts for Global Health
Challenges in Global Health require transnational efforts – both at European and global level. Germany moved Global Health issues into the international spotlight during its G7 and G20 presidencies. In its G7 presidency, Germany made neglected and poverty‐related diseases two of the top priorities. This commitment was continued in 2017 at the G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg. In addition, the fight against antimicrobial resistance was put into focus.

In line with Germany’s engagement, BMBF has set up or participates in a variety of measures and initiatives in the area of Global Health. These comprise, for example, initiatives on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), epidemic preparedness, clinical trial partnerships and others. The aim of these initiatives is to support international research activities, with a special focus on Sub‐Saharan African countries.

For more information on these measures, please follow the tiles below.

International Collaborations


Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

CEPI is a new alliance to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics.


The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is a public-public partnership between countries in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.


ESTHER Alliance – University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa

Reducing the burden of antimicrobial resistance is a prerequisite for increased patient safety. Not only industrialized nations are facing this challenge but also low and middle income countries.


Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)

GARDP aims to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists, while endeavoring to ensure sustainable access.

Logo Global AMR R&D Hub

Global AMR R&D Hub

This initiative to tackle the threat of resistant pathogens is designed to make the use of international resources even more effective. It should enable research scientists to develop more new antibiotics and treatments against infections.


Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R)

GloPID-R is a collaboration of international research funders that strives for a rapid and effective research response in case of a new or re-emerging infectious disease outbreak.

Health Nets Africa

Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa

Five German-African networks are fostering the scientific cooperation in health research between Germany and the African continent.


Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR)

As an alliance of international funders, the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) is dedicated to fighting the global threat caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) including antibiotic resistance.

Logo PDP

Product Development Partnerships (PDPs)

Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) are international, non-for-profit organisations. They develop vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for neglected and poverty-related diseases and make them available at affordable costs.

ESSENCE on Health Research is an initiative, hosted by WHO , that provides an opportunity to establish coordinated efforts in research capacity strengthening for health in low- and middle-income countries.

Essence on Health Research

ESSENCE on Health Research is an initiative, hosted by WHO , that provides an opportunity to establish coordinated efforts in research capacity strengthening for health in low- and middle-income countries.