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Field Trip


5 July

07:15 to 20:30 (back in Lausanne)





Geneva’s pivotal role in the response to viral disease outbreaks

Meeting point: Parking Lausanne Bellerive at 07:15 (bus leaves at 07:30)

Number of participants: 20

Registration fee: CHF 17 (includes transport and lunch)

Details: Participants need to bring a valid ID

Organizer and sponsor: World Health Organization, University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals. 

Contact: Cristina Garcia (


When Ebola once again reared its ugly head in a remote area of Congo in April 2018, Geneva promptly hit the headlines. This is because the city of Calvin is home to some of the major players in global health. It hosts world health organization (WHO) headquarters, boasts a state-of-the-art university hospital (HUG) and a university (UNIGE) ranked among the top 60 in the world. In 2017, an international team based at HUG and UNIGE succeeded in defining a “signature” composed of a small number of inflammatory markers that can be monitored in order to understand how a promising anti-Ebola virus vaccine stimulates the immune system.

On this field trip you’ll discover how these three institutions work together to fight diseases and pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, Zika, Ebola Virus Disease and Cholera. At WHO, you’ll visit the «SHOC room» (Strategic Health Operations Centre)  – the heart of WHO’s emergencies response coordination center. You will meet with WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, learn how the institution prevents and manages outbreak emergencies and discuss the challenge of communicating complex health issues to policy-makers and the media with WHO’s media experts.

At HUG and UNIGE, you will discover the first Swiss P4D laboratory used for diagnosing viral diseases. You will get to know the initiator of the worldwide hand hygiene program which has saved millions of persons worldwide. You will get the chance to question the team in charge of, among others, testing the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine, clinicians who have operated in DRC, and visit the installations for treating patients with Ebola or other viral diseases. All this will prepare you to brilliantly manage a public health crisis all by yourself own – on a simulation device.

To wrap up the day, the participants on the various Geneva field trips will be treated to a closing cocktail party at Campus Biotech.

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