The Oxford Health Alliance is a registered charity, no. 1117580, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (registered company number 5444447). Its registered office is 28 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8RZ, UK.
Introduction to OxHA
Well over half the disease burden in the world is due to four chronic non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung diseases and some cancers. We now know that prevention of unhealthy behaviours – poor diet, physical activity and tobacco consumption – is critical in confronting the pandemic growth of these diseases.
These illnesses rob individuals of healthy years of life and have the potential to devastate whole societies. Chronic diseases are increasingly undermining prospects for a stable future, especially in lower- and middle-income countries and the poorer segments of society in the developed world. Broad-based preventive efforts must be launched now, while we still have time.
The Oxford Health Alliance enables experts and activists from different backgrounds to collaborate in order to raise awareness and change behaviours, policies and perspectives at every level of society. Alliance members from around the world include leading academics, activists and corporate executives, patients’ rights advocates, doctors, nurses and others, all of whom share a sense of urgency about the worldwide epidemic of chronic disease. Our first goal is to raise awareness among influencers and educate critical decision-makers so that the pressing case for preventative measures can advance, and we can begin to combat chronic disease.
Key achievements to date
- Annual summits, including a summit hosted by OxHA’s Asia-Pacific centre, in Sydney, Australia;
- the Community Interventions for Health research-and-action initiative, which now has four pilot, fully-funded sites around the world. Baseline data-gathering is complete, and interventions have begun. The initiative has a dedicated website, www.cih.net, hosted on the 3FOUR50 website;
- the creation and administration of the 3FOUR50 interactive website, including fortnightly video news, blogs, photos and video content from users of the site, and Fit City, an online competition for young people. The site also provides a platform for communication between the global sites of the new UnitedHealth/NHLBI Chronic Disease Initiative (as detailed in The Lancet, June 2009: click here >>).
- OxHA’s ‘Grand Challenges in Chronic Non-communicable Diseases’, which laid the groundwork for the formation of a new Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, a process coordinated by Professor Stig Pramming. The GACD has, for the first time, seen six of the major government funders of medical research pledge to work to increase funding for chronic diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Professor David Matthews is currently the interim coordinating director under the chairmanship of Professor Abdallah Daar.
- Policy and advocacy work in workplaces, with businesses and young people, covering economics and urban design. Networks have been established, working with the World Economic Forum, food, insurance, pharmaceutical companies; health and fitness companies and major international NGOs.
OxHA was formed in 2003 as a partnership between the University of Oxford and Novo Nordisk A/S. Many stakeholders are involved in both the causes and solutions. The original participants in the Oxford Health Alliance, representing the breadth of parties involved, first met at the OxfordVision 2020 summit in December 2003.
Click here >> for details of the support OxHA receives, and how you or your organisation can help with our work.