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German Biosecurity Programme

Head of the German Biosecurity Programme at RKI: Prof. Dr. Johanna Hanefeld, Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG)
Programme Coordination: Dr. Stefan Kloth, Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG)

Since 2013, the Federal Foreign Office has been supporting partner countries towards raising awareness of and minimising the risks associated with highly pathogenic agents through the German Biosecurity Programme. The programme aims at preventing the misuse of pathogens and toxins, reducing the availability and spread of dangerous pathogens, and strengthening partner countries' national prevention and response mechanisms.

The programme consists of several individual projects that are implemented in cooperation with German institutions, including the Robert Koch Institute. Besides the RKI, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (IMB) are part of the programme.

Video: Voices and background information on the German Biosecurity Programme (Copyright: German Federal Foreign Office)

The programme prioritises activities in Africa and Central Asia, with the RKI's involvement focusing on the countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Objective of RKI's activities:

  • Biosafety and biosecurity: Reduction of the risk of spreading biological agents (Centre for International Health Protection, ZIG 4)
  • Crisis Management: Strengthening of national crisis management systems (Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, unit 31)
  • Bacteriological and viral detection and diagnostics: Detection and characterisation of dangerous pathogens (Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, ZBS 1 and
  • ZBS 2)
  • Surveillance: Strengthening of national  infectious disease surveillance systems and capacities (Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, unit 32)
  • Security Cooperation: Strengthening of interdisciplinary and intersectoral capacities for the operational management of exceptional biological situations (Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, ZBS 7)

International main partner institutions of the RKI:

  • Uzbekistan
    • Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service
    • Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
    • Department of Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiologic Surveillance
    • Republican Center for Quarantine and Highly Dangerous Infections
    • Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan

Date: 22.05.2024