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Institut für Public Health

Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn

Medical Specialist in Pediatrics


Former director of the Institute (till 8/16)
Designated Senior Professor (as of 9/17)

Prof. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn (born in 1952) has been Head of the Institute of Public Health at the Heidelberg University Hospital from 1997 until 2016. He is also a guest professor for "Global Health and Climate Change" at Umeå University in Sweden. He trained as a physician in Bonn, Heidelberg and London; Then he did research at the Harvard School of Public Health and at Tufts University in Boston. In the early 1980s Rainer Sauerborn spent three years as a "District Medical Officer" in Nouna (Burkina Faso). Since then, numerous research projects have linked him to the country. He is also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).



Université Paris Sorbonne Cité

“MOOC Factory, Centre de Santé Publique Virchow-Villermé”

Developing Massive Online Courses, training on the job 


Stanford University, School of Management

Executive course on Leadership and Change Management 


Medical Licencing Board Nordbaden, Germany

Specialty Licence „Tropical Medicine“ (Zusatzbezeichnung Tropenmedizin)

1990 - 1994                                                    

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

Dr. P.H. (Doctor of Public Health 6/94) in the Dept. of Population and International Health. Concentration in Health Economics

Dissertation: Household strategies to cope with the economic costs of illness. A study of rural communities in Burkina Faso.

Honors: Scholarship of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

1989 - 1990

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) 6/90) Concentration in Epidemiology

1983 - 1989

Heidelberg Medical School, Germany, Department of Pediatrics 

Pediatric Specialty Training Certificate (4/89) of the German Pediatric Association Pediatric residency with a focus on infectious diseases, neonatal care and tropical pediatrics


M.Sc. in Mother and Child Health (12/96)

Dissertation: Predictors of low birth weight for use by trained traditional birth attendants


London University, Institute of Child Health


Institut für Öffentliches Gesundheitswesen und Tropenhygiene, University Heidelberg, Germany

Diploma: “Medicine in Developing Countries” (9/79) 


Ärztekammer Baden-Württemberg

License to practice as a physician


36 publications (out of 201)

Ye M, Diboulo E, Kagone M, Sie A, Sauerborn R, Loukanova S. Health worker preferences for performance-based payment schemes in a rural health district in Burkina Faso. Glob Health Action 2016; 9: 29103.

Yasmin F, Banu B, Zakir SM, Sauerborn R, Ali L, Souares A. Positive influence of short message service and voice call interventions on adherence and health outcomes in case of chronic disease care: a systematic review. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2016; 16: 46.

Verner G, Schutte S, Knop J, Sankoh O, Sauerborn R. Health in climate change research from 1990 to 2014: positive trend, but still underperforming. Glob Health Action 2016; 9: 30723.

Mohammed S, Aji B, Bermejo JL, Souares A, Dong H, Sauerborn R. User experience with a health insurance coverage and benefit-package access: implications for policy implementation towards expansion in Nigeria. Health Policy Plan 2016; 31(3): 346-55.

Herlihy N, Bar-Hen A, Verner G, Fischer H, Sauerborn R, Depoux A, Flahault A, Schutte S. Climate change and human health: what are the research trends? A scoping review protocol. BMJ Open 2016; 6(12): e012022.

Gerhardus A, Becher H, Groenewegen P, Mansmann U, Meyer T, Pfaff H, Puhan M, Razum O, Rehfuess E, Sauerborn R, Strech D, Wissing F, Zeeb H, Hummers-Pradier E. Applying for, reviewing and funding public health research in Germany and beyond. Health Res Policy Syst 2016; 14(1): 43.

Dambach P, Traore I, Kaiser A, Sie A, Sauerborn R, Becker N. Challenges of implementing a large scale larviciding campaign against malaria in rural Burkina Faso - lessons learned and recommendations derived from the EMIRA project. BMC Public Health 2016; 16(1): 1023.

Dambach P, Schleicher M, Stahl HC, Traore I, Becker N, Kaiser A, Sie A, Sauerborn R. Routine implementation costs of larviciding with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis against malaria vectors in a district in rural Burkina Faso. Malar J 2016; 15(1): 380.

Bunker A, Wildenhain J, Vandenbergh A, Henschke N, Rocklov J, Hajat S, Sauerborn R. Effects of Air Temperature on Climate-Sensitive Mortality and Morbidity Outcomes in the Elderly; a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Epidemiological Evidence. EBioMedicine 2016; 6: 258-68.

Amelung D, Fischer H, Kruse L, Sauerborn R. Defogging Climate Change Communication: How Cognitive Research Can Promote Effective Climate Communication. Front Psychol 2016; 7: 1340.

Schoeps A, Lietz H, Sie A, Savadogo G, De Allegri M, Muller O, Sauerborn R, Becher H, Souares A. Health insurance and child mortality in rural Burkina Faso. Glob Health Action 2015; 8: 27327.

Savadogo G, Souares A, Sie A, Parmar D, Bibeau G, Sauerborn R. Using a community-based definition of poverty for targeting poor households for premium subsidies in the context of a community health insurance in Burkina Faso. BMC Public Health 2015; 15: 84.

Saronga HP, Dalaba MA, Dong H, Leshabari M, Sauerborn R, Sukums F, Blank A, Kaltschmidt J, Loukanova S. Cost of installing and operating an electronic clinical decision support system for maternal health care: case of Tanzania rural primary health centres. BMC Health Serv Res 2015; 15: 132.

Phalkey RK, Aranda-Jan C, Marx S, Hofle B, Sauerborn R. Systematic review of current efforts to quantify the impacts of climate change on undernutrition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015; 112(33): E4522-9.

Lietz H, Lingani M, Sie A, Sauerborn R, Souares A, Tozan Y. Measuring population health: costs of alternative survey approaches in the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System in rural Burkina Faso. Glob Health Action 2015; 8: 28330.

Ding Y, Sauerborn R, Xu B, Shaofa N, Yan W, Diwan VK, Dong H. A cost-effectiveness analysis of three components of a syndromic surveillance system for the early warning of epidemics in rural China. BMC Public Health 2015; 15: 1127.

Ding Y, Fei Y, Xu B, Yang J, Yan W, Diwan VK, Sauerborn R, Dong H. Measuring costs of data collection at village clinics by village doctors for a syndromic surveillance system-a cross sectional survey from China. BMC Health Serv Res 2015; 15: 287.

Dalaba MA, Akweongo P, Aborigo RA, Saronga HP, Williams J, Blank A, Kaltschmidt J, Sauerborn R, Loukanova S. Cost-effectiveness of clinical decision support system in improving maternal health care in Ghana. PLoS One 2015; 10(5): e0125920.

Dalaba MA, Akweongo P, Aborigo RA, Saronga HP, Williams J, Aninanya GA, Sauerborn R, Loukanova S. Cost to households in treating maternal complications in northern Ghana: a cross sectional study. BMC Health Serv Res 2015; 15: 34.

Ye M, Aninanya GA, Sie A, Kakoko DC, Chatio S, Kagone M, Prytherch H, Loukanova S, Williams JE, Sauerborn R. Establishing sustainable performance-based incentive schemes: views of rural health workers from qualitative research in three sub-Saharan African countries. Rural Remote Health 2014; 14(3): 2681.

Yamamoto SS, Louis VR, Sie A, Sauerborn R. Biomass smoke in Burkina Faso: what is the relationship between particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and kitchen characteristics? Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2014; 21(4): 2581-91.

Woodward A, Smith KR, Campbell-Lendrum D, Chadee DD, Honda Y, Liu Q, Olwoch J, Revich B, Sauerborn R, Chafe Z, Confalonieri U, Haines A. Climate change and health: on the latest IPCC report. Lancet 2014; 383(9924): 1185-9.

Stahl HC, Ahmadi F, Schleicher U, Sauerborn R, Bermejo JL, Amirih ML, Sakhayee I, Bogdan C, Stahl KW. A randomized controlled phase IIb wound healing trial of cutaneous leishmaniasis ulcers with 0.045% pharmaceutical chlorite (DAC N-055) with and without bipolar high frequency electro-cauterization versus intralesional antimony in Afghanistan. BMC Infect Dis 2014; 14: 619.

Saronga HP, Duysburgh E, Massawe S, Dalaba MA, Savadogo G, Tonchev P, Dong H, Sauerborn R, Loukanova S. Efficiency of antenatal care and childbirth services in selected primary health care facilities in rural Tanzania: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Serv Res 2014; 14: 96.

Robyn PJ, Barnighausen T, Souares A, Traore A, Bicaba B, Sie A, Sauerborn R. Provider payment methods and health worker motivation in community-based health insurance: a mixed-methods study. Soc Sci Med 2014; 108: 223-36.

Parmar D, De Allegri M, Savadogo G, Sauerborn R. Do community-based health insurance schemes fulfil the promise of equity? A study from Burkina Faso. Health Policy Plan 2014; 29(1): 76-84.

Mohammed S, Souares A, Lorenzo Bermejo J, Babale SM, Sauerborn R, Dong H. Satisfaction with the level and type of resource use of a health insurance scheme in Nigeria: health management organizations' perspectives. Int J Health Plann Manage 2014; 29(4): e309-28.

Mohammed S, Souares A, Bermejo JL, Sauerborn R, Dong H. Performance evaluation of a health insurance in Nigeria using optimal resource use: health care providers perspectives. BMC Health Serv Res 2014; 14: 127.

Marx S, Phalkey R, Aranda-Jan CB, Profe J, Sauerborn R, Hofle B. Geographic information analysis and web-based geoportals to explore malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of approaches. BMC Public Health 2014; 14: 1189.

Mahendradhata Y, Souares A, Phalkey R, Sauerborn R. Optimizing patient-centeredness in the transitions of healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries. BMC Health Serv Res 2014; 14: 386.

Loukanova S, Prytherch H, Blank A, Duysburgh E, Tomson G, Gustafsson LL, Sie A, Williams J, Leshabari M, Haefeli WE, Sauerborn R, Fonn S. Nesting doctoral students in collaborative North-South partnerships for health systems research. Glob Health Action 2014; 7: 24070.

Haque MA, Louis VR, Phalkey R, Sauerborn R. Use of traditional medicines to cope with climate-sensitive diseases in a resource poor setting in Bangladesh. BMC Public Health 2014; 14: 202.

Dambach P, Traore I, Becker N, Kaiser A, Sie A, Sauerborn R. EMIRA: Ecologic Malaria Reduction for Africa--innovative tools for integrated malaria control. Glob Health Action 2014; 7: 25908.

Dambach P, Louis VR, Kaiser A, Ouedraogo S, Sie A, Sauerborn R, Becker N. Efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis against malaria mosquitoes in northwestern Burkina Faso. Parasit Vectors 2014; 7: 371.

Dalaba MA, Akweongo P, Williams J, Saronga HP, Tonchev P, Sauerborn R, Mensah N, Blank A, Kaltschmidt J, Loukanova S. Costs associated with implementation of computer-assisted clinical decision support system for antenatal and delivery care: case study of Kassena-Nankana district of northern Ghana. PLoS One 2014; 9(9): e106416.

Aji B, Yamamoto SS, Sauerborn R. The economic impact of the insured patients with severe chronic and acute illnesses: a qualitative approach. Glob Health Action 2014; 7: 22526.

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