Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

The ITM is one of the world's leading academic institutes for research, training and assistance in tropical medicine and health policy, systems and service delivery in developing countries.

Member profile

The Institute of Tropical Medicine has 3 science departments: Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Sciences and Public Health, doing research on the level of respectively pathogens, patients and populations, and the interfaces. The ITM operates a specialised outpatient clinic and various support services, and employs over 400 staff. The ITM works with numerous scientific institutions, governments and organisations all over the world for a long-lasting improvement of health care and disease control in developing countries.

Main activities

ITM’s scientific units run major research programmes on the organisation, financing, management and integration of health care systems and disease control programmes, and carry out fundamental, applied and operational research on global (AIDS, malaria, TB) as well as “neglected” tropical diseases of humans and livestock in developing countries.

The Public Health Department is multidisciplinary in nature and integrates epidemiological, public health, social, management and economic expertise. Its research on health systems includes (1) policymaking at global and national level, (2) strategic management of local health systems, and (3) maternal and child health.

Through its advanced international master courses in public health and disease control in developing countries, the ITM trains every year some 250 Master and postgraduate students from around the world in health policy, disease control, local health system management and tropical medicine. Currently, 120 fellows, mainly from developing countries, carry out PhD research.

Links to the health workforce crisis

Recent and current research interests include strategic management of health service organisations and its influence on health workforce performance, task shifting for HIV/AIDs care and chronic diseases and creating an adequate workforce for maternal health.