The Oxford Health Alliance (OxHA) was founded in 2003 to foster a co-ordinated approach, involving all stakeholders, with the aim of preventing epidemic chronic disease by addressing the three major risk factors of tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity. The first steps were identified as raising awareness and creating a forum for bringing stakeholders together to facilitate discussion and consensus. By 2010, this has largely been achieved through debate and discussion at a series of annual summits, by establishing a broad platform facilitating communication and debate and advocacy work with businesses, young people and in the workplace.
We know that awareness of chronic epidemic disease has increased over the past few years and this is illustrated by the formation of NCDnet, an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is working in the area of non-communicable disease, and the development of a collaboration between eight Medical Research Councils (MRC) called the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). The next logical step for OxHA is to move from awareness raising to implementing community-based research, driving policy change and developing communications. This has been achieved by the following intiatives:
The Smoke Screen
The SmokeScreen is a collaboration between the Oxford Health Alliance, De Montfort University and NHS Leicester City and is designed to deter young people from starting smoking. The intervention takes place in Leicester schools and is organised and facilitated by Qasim Chowdary from NHS Leicester City, who has developed the innovative idea of using social marketing to deter smoking. Evaluation of the SmokeScreen was performed as part of the Oxford Health Alliance’s Community Interventions for Health (CIH) program and the evaluation and final report was performed and written by Professor Denis Anthony from De Montfort University.
For a full copy of the report click here
The Banting Memorial Lecture
The Banting Memorial Lecture is the highest award bestowed by Diabetes UK. The lecture is awarded to a person internationally recognised for their eminence in the field of diabetes and in 2010 this honour was bestowed upon Professor David Matthews, Founding Director of OxHA. Professor Matthews delivered an outstanding lecture entitled ‘Type 2 diabetes – the Black Death of the 21st Century’ where he made the case for the current global pandemic of diabetes performing as the modern-day equivalent of acute infections of the past.
For edited highlights of the lecture click here >>
This ‘open space for health’, launched by OxHA in November 2006, harnesses the social networking power of the internet to promote chronic disease prevention by focusing on the 3 risk factors (poor diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use) that lead to four chronic diseases (CVD, diabetes, chronic lung diseases and some cancers) contributing to more than 50% of deaths worldwide.
The site is not only building an online global health community – it is also communicating health messages in an innovative and compelling way. The website has the potential to reach a larger audience, and from more diverse backgrounds, than traditional conferences, meetings or social marketing campaigns. It facilitates conversations and collaborations between all those demanding real change in the area of chronic disease.
Click here >> to go to the site.
We would welcome your suggestions on ways to make it more useful to you, your colleagues and friends. Please contact us [email].
CIH (Community Interventions for Health)
CIH is the community action arm of OxHA and is dedicated to reducing the impact of epidemic chronic disease by tackling the 3 main risk factors (tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity) in multiple settings; schools, workplaces, health centres and communities. CIH operates in 4 sites in 3 countries; China, India and Mexico. www.cih.net
Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD)
OxHa was instrumental in supporting the formation of GACD under the auspices of its first acting executive director, Professor David Matthews. GACD is a global alliance of institutions, including 8 Medical Research Councils, which is dedicated to concerted action against chronic non-communicable diseases. www.ga-cd.org
The George Institute
The George Institute is a global, not-for-profit, medical research organisation with centres in China, India, Australia and the UK, where it is a legally registered charity. The Institute’s mission is to improve the health of millions worldwide by providing the best evidence to guide critical health decisions and engaging with policy makers to enact real change. Globally, the Institute’s research divisions mainly focus on chronic and complex diseases and the majority of the Institute’s work comprises translational research aimed at providing evidence that will directly inform policy and practice within a relatively short timeframe. The strategic focus of this research is the formulation and evaluation of innovative and affordable health care technologies and models of care for disadvantaged populations in resource-poor regions.
For more information about the George Institute click here >>
The Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM)
Professor Matthews was Chairman of OCDEM when he founded OxHA and strong links have been retained to this day. OCDEM is a unique collaboration between a world renowned university, the largest national healthcare system in the world and the leaders in diabetes care from private industry. OCDEM successfully combines world-class research and cutting edge clinical care in all areas of diabetes and endocrinology.
For more information about the OCDEM click here >>
Tseu Medical Institute, Harris Manchester College
University of Oxford’s Harris Manchester College has recently announced the establishment of a medical institute to be known as the Harris Manchester, Oxford Tseu Medical Institute. Dr. Tseu was elected the chairman of the chairman of the institute at its organizational meeting in Oxford last month and will closely monitor its progress together with Professor David Matthews, Vice-Principle of Harris Manchester college.
For more information about Harris Manchester college click here >>