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Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute

Novel integrated infectious diseases diagnosis and surveillance system (NIIDS)

Fever-causing diseases are a worldwide problem of major relevance, made worse by inadequate use and current limitations of available diagnostic tools. At the global level, there is an important need to develop and rigorously validate integrated, ready-to-use platforms supporting diagnostics and triage for improved clinical decision-making. Ideally, such platforms would enable rapid diagnosis of the prevailing common diseases and at the same time enable disease surveillance in areas with poor access to health care and high population densities. In the NIIDS project, we will develop and validate a novel integrated platform for improved triage, diagnosis and management of febrile illnesses, and with the help of a dedicated questionnaire identify the major health care needs in i) two large Eritrean refugee camps in Ethiopia ii) in the Ethiopian host community and iii) in migrants arriving in Switzerland from the Horn of Africa (Eritrea and Somalia), where currently medical care is severely limited.

In a full year prospective study, we will collate evidence on non-communicable diseases, mental and reproductive health and nutrition deficiencies and identify the most clinically relevant infectious diseases. These data serve as a basis upon which we will apply and validate novel versatile diagnostic platforms covering molecular diagnostics, serology and a sophisticated sensor device for triage using non-invasive specimens.

The Institute for Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention at the University of Zurich is responsible for participants from the Canton of Zurich.

Due to the Corona pandemic, and subsequent decrease in immigration, the screening for infectious diseases has been halted in Switzerland at this time and is only taking place in Ethiopia. More information:  Project


Weiterführende Informationen


Jan Fehr (Project Leader)

Jennifer Giovanoli (Project Leader)

George Abongomera


Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation


We are looking for participants for our study. If you immigrated to Switzerland from Eritrea or Somalia, you can participate. Please contact study coordinator Jennifer Giovanoli (niidsstudy AT if you are interested in learning more.


• Download PDF for participants

(English): NIIDS Project (en)

(German): NIIDS Project (de)

(Somali): NIIDS Project (som)

(Tigrinya): NIIDS Project (tgr)