Ane Fisker

Ane Fisker, Associate Professor
Tel.: +45 32 68 83 66
Area of interest: Preventive health interventions on child health in low-income countries, including nonspecific effects of vaccines and vitamins.
See Ane Fisker's publication- and activity list here.


  • Research in non-specific effects of vaccines and vitamins
  • epidemiology
  • Health and Demographic Surveillance System
  • Implementation of randomized studies in low-income countries

Own research projects:

In addition to the randomized studies (above), which is implemented in conjunction with PhD-students, I am responsible for Bandim Health Project's Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) on the countryside in Guinea-Bissau. Based on this platform, I evaluate the effects of campaigns and changes in vaccination policies. Bandim Health Project's HDSS is longitudionelt: all followed individuals are followed through repeated visits, enabling highly accurate measures of mortality in the area. The international organizations assess frequent changes in mortality patterns over time through serial cross-sectional studies, in which the individuals are not followed (e.g. UNICEF MICS and USAID's DHS). In collaboration with researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we seek to examine how the methods used to measure early child mortality in such surveys can be improved.

Supervisor for:

PhD-student, Anshu Varma, 2016-19; CVIVA/Bandim Health Project & OPEN.
Billions doses of vaccine have been given in low income countries in vaccine campaigns over the past decades to eradicate polio and measles by 2020. Observational studies suggest that the vaccination campaigns against polio and measles have significant beneficial effects on overall morbidity and mortality. Anshu's project will measure the effect of polio -and measle vaccine campaigns in general hospitalization and mortality among children aged 0-59 months in Guinea-Bissau in a randomized study. Within the framework of Bandim Health Project's demographic surveillance system comprising 182 village clusters and more than 18,000 children under 5 years, we will implement a cluster randomized trial.

Co-supervisor for:

PhD-student Sanne Marie Thysen, 2014-19, CVIVA/Bandim Health Project & Aarhus Universitet, BCG vaccination policy in Guinea-Bissau: cost and impact on neonatal mortality, BCG vaccination is recommended at birth, but the majority of African children is vaccinated after the first month of life, as the vaccine comes in 20-dose bottles, which is only opened when there are 10-12 children to be vaccinated. Randomized studies among children with low birth weight, for whom BCG is normally given later, indicates that BCG at birth can reduce mortality in the first 4 weeks of life by 48%. Sanne's project measures the effect of BCG in a cohort of children who through a natural experiment (timing of Bandim Health Project's visits relative to the child's date of birth) is vaccinated early or late and assesses the cost-effectiveness of giving BCG at the first vaccination contact. Furthermore, Sanne implements a large cluster randomized trial to give BCG at birth through the WHO recommended home visits.

PhD-student Andreas Riekmann, 2015-18: CVIVA/Bandim Health Project & OPEN, OP_147 Long-term non-specific effects of BCG and smallpox vaccinations, Evidence indicates that live attenuated vaccines reduce morbidity and mortality to an extent that is not only due to the protection against the target disease of the vaccine. Most of the research involves children, and the potential long-term effects among adults are less explored. This PhD project aims to explore the long-term non-specific effects of the vaccines against smallpox (vaccinia) and against tuberculosis (BCG) on adult health. This will be done in five studies with mortality, infections, and cancer (malignant melanoma) as main outcomes. If early exposure to certain vaccines changes ones probability of non-related infectious diseases and general survival, evaluators of vaccine programs should consider these aspects too.

Bandim Health Projects

The Bandim Health Project is a health project in Guinea-Bissau i West Africa. The core of the project consists of demographic surveillance and collects data of health, vaccinations, breastfeeding, illness and much more.

Go to Bandim Health Project

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