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Postcards from the field
Hessisches Landesprüfungs- und Untersuchungsamt im Gesundheitswesen (HLPUG) 



Contact person
Dr. Anja Hauri
Hessisches Landesprüfungs- und Untersuchungsamt im Gesundheitswesen
Wolframstr. 33
D-35683 Dillenburg, Germany
Tel +49 2771 320 636
Fax +49 2771 366 71

Description of the institute
The health care system in Germany has a federal structure where most of the responsibilities for health care and direct measures for intervention are at the state level (Bundesländer). The State Health Office (HLPUG) is the federal institution responsible for disease prevention and control in Hesse. It is divided in 3 departments in different locations: Health Protection, Examinations for Health Professionals and Social Security. The Department for Health Protection is situated in Dillenburg and has 47 employees (among them 9 scientists), who are distributed in 4 units:

  • Hygiene and Infectious Disease Diagnostics
  • Water Hygiene
  • Environmental Hygiene and Toxicology
  • Epidemiology

The epidemiology unit’s main function include infectious disease epidemiology, surveillance, health reporting and cancer registry. The epidemiology unit comprises three consultant epidemiologists, a data analyst and associated support staff. Tasks of the epidemiology unit regarding the control of communicable diseases are:

  • Surveillance of communicable diseases. Regional data is collected via routine reporting and special epidemiological surveys. Following the analysis of these data, reports are generated and disseminated. The epidemiology unit manages additional surveillance systems for respiratory infections and for death cases.
  • Investigation and control of communicable disease. HLPUG staff provide support and advice to public health physicians and others in the control of communicable disease. For the investigation of outbreaks, staff of the office work closely with their locally and nationally based public health physician colleagues, hospital laboratories, national reference centres and local and state veterinary authorities.
  • Epidemiological research. HLPUG undertakes research projects in association with academic departments or research institutes. It includes descriptive studies and analytical studies such as case-control studies or cohort studies.
  • Teaching and training in communicable disease epidemiology for public health workers and others concerned with health protection.

Regional Overview
The state of Hesse, located in the centre of Germany, has a population of over 6 million people. Hesse is divided in 26 districts and has 24 local health units (LHU) with which we closely collaborate. Dillenburg is situated in the Northwest of Hesse (by train 1.5 hours from Frankfurt, 2 hours from Cologne) and has a good highway connection to Frankfurt in the south and Dortmund in northern direction. It is a small town with 10.000 inhabitants (24.000 including attached villages).

Training opportunities
EPIET fellows will have opportunities to participate in all main activities carried out by the Department for Health Protection. Based on the fellow's previous experience and interest, appropriate assignments can be arranged. Placements can also be arranged with a local Health Protection Authority where the trainee can gain experience with the first line of response to local health protection problems.
Training supervision
The EPIET fellow will be based in the Epidemiology unit, and projects will be directly supervised by the epidemiologists working in the unit, one of whom is an EPIET/FETP graduate. Projects in close collaboration with all units will be available. He/she will have access to good office space, with computer equipment, and access to both Intranet and Internet. The fellow will be fully integrated in the team and will have access to all information and databases of the Department.

Language requirements
English and German.

Training history
Number of EPIET fellows trained at institute: none New site 2009!
Number of EPIET alumni working at institute: one

Available as a training site for cohort 15: Yes