The Berlin – Nairobi Research Exchange

The exchange program with the University of Nairobi is an exciting new project within the framework of the scientific research module (M23). This program gives the opportunity to students from Nairobi and Berlin to broaden their medical understanding on a different continent while working on the same research topics during their one month stay at the partnering university.

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Berlin-Nairobi Research Exchange

„Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world“(Nelson Mandela). The world is becoming smaller and health issues become increasingly global, while most exchange programs between African and European university students still take place only in one direction. Many German medical students seize the opportunity to carry out an internship in the Global South, in which they have invaluable experiences both professionally and personally. In contrast, few African medical students get the chance to have these experiences in the Global North.
To tackle this imbalance, a former medical student at the Charité, Mathias Krisam, jointly set up in partnership with students at the University of Nairobi-Medical School a student exchange program between both faculties that gives equal exchange opportunities to all students.

Every year six medical students from Berlin and Nairobi spend four weeks at the partnering university in order to devote themselves to three different research projects.

The distinctive feature of this program is that Kenyan and German students work together on the same topic. While the German medical students do research in Nairobi, the Kenyan students do their research in Berlin. Supervisors from both faculties support the participants. To gain further insights into the clinical setting, the stay is linked with a one-week observation in accordance with the students’ research topic. Before departure, all students take part in a mandatory intercultural training to ensure they are well prepared.


Support for the project is provided by:   

  • B. Braun Melsungen (cover travel and cost of living expenses for participating students from Kenya)
  • Marburger Bund (trade union representing professional and political interests of physicians and medical students employed in Germany)
  • BKK Dachverband (association of German company health insurance funds)
  • Stiftung Charité (Charité Foundation)
  • private donations

Thanks to our sponsors! We are grateful for your support.


Support this completely new approach to transnational collaboration with travel grants.

Bank details*:

Recipient: CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin
Bank: Berliner Sparkasse Landesbank
IBAN: DE 53 1005 0000 1270 0055 50
Purpose: 89858029 / name of the donor / Exchange Nairobi Berlin

*Donation receipts can be issued from an amount of 200 €. Please write an e-mail to:

Many thanks for your support !

Researchers and supervisors

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Dr. Andrea Budnick, research fellow, Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science, supporting the program since 2019; expertise: methods for social science research in medical studies, health service research

Dr. Angela Schuster, Physician, M.Sc. in Epidemiology, Institute of General Practice, supporting the program since 2018; expertise: human resources for health, sexual and reproductive Health, neglected tropical diseases

Dr. Andreas Kopf, Senior Physician, Head of Pain- and Palliative Care Center, Department of Anesthesiology and Surgical Medicine, supporting the program since 2017; expertise: pain medicine, palliative care

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Andreas Heinz, patron of the project, Director of the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, supporting the program since 2017; expertise: Mental illnesses, addictions

University of Nairobi

Dr. Diana Marangu, Consultant Paediatric Pulmonologist and Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, supporting the program since 2019; expertise: tropical and infectious diseases, tuberculosis, pediatric pulmonology, child health

Dr. Muthoni Mathai, Scientist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, supporting the program since 2018; expertise: HIV and HPV prevention, post abortion care, mental health research training

Dr. Pauline Nganga, Scientist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, supporting the program since 2017; expertise: psychiatry and palliative care

Dr Edwin Walong, Lecturer, Anatomic Pathology Unit, Department of Human Pathology, supporting the program since 2018; expertise: pneumonia in children, kidney injury

Dr Moses Obimbo, Gynecologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Anatomy, supporting the program since 2019; expertise: reproductive medicine, complicated pregnancies

Dr Daniel Ojuka, Lecturer, Department of Surgery, supporting the program since 2018; expertise: general surgery, infectious diseases

Topics of past exchange years

  • Nosocomial infections
  • Renal Transplantation (challenges, outcome, quality of life, historical development)
  • Care of elder people
  • Healthcare provision and its utilization by patients with chronic conditions
  • Evaluating structure, provision and interaction of primary, secondary and tertiary care in gynecology
  • Psychiatric disorders: Perception in German/Kenyan culture
  • Mental health, quality of life and stress factors in (medical) students
  • Ideas and difficulties in health education
  • Palliative medicine in teaching
  • Pain management in oncology
  • Analgesia use in general surgery (pre-, intra- and post-operative)

Nairobi-Berlin-Exchange: News

Unfortunately, this year's exchange had to be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the uncertain development of the pandemic, we sat down and developed a digital exchange program for you that will take place in the summer semester 2021.

Admission process for the program in 2021:
At the Charité - Universitätsmedizin planned for November 2020. Details will be announced on this webpage.
At the University of Nairobi planned for November 2020. Details will be provided by the UoN-medical school. 

We are looking forward to the exchange program next year.

Impressions from the Exchange

You can find impressions from the exchange here:

Contact and Coordination

The exchange program is coordinated by Franziska Grimm from the Charité International Cooperation Department and Pauline Meurer (Charité medical student) as well as by Dr. Peter Maturi from the University of Nairobi.    
Furthermore, the Vice-Dean´s office for teaching and learning, and Dr. Andreas Kopf, senior physician in the Department of Anesthesiology on Campus Benjamin Franklin support and represent the exchange program.

Coordination and planning of the progam in Berlin

Franziska Grimm

Support for researchers and scholars from abroad coming to the Charité for a limited period of time. Coordinator of the student exchange program between the University of Nairobi and the Charité

Pauline Meurer

Medical student and student assistant

Coordination and planning of the progam in Nairobi

Dr. Peter Maturi
Department of Human Pathology
University of Nairobi-Medical School