UCL News


Grand Challenge of Global Health report

25 November 2008


gh ucl.ac.uk/drupal/site_news/sites/news/files/The_Grand_Challenges_of_Global_Health_0809.pdf" target="_self">'The Grand Challenge of Global Health 08/09'
  • The UCL Institute for Global Health
  • UCL Grand Challenges
  • A report published today profiles recent work on the UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health across the spectrum of UCL disciplines.

    Launched at the annual UCL-Lancet Lecture, the report describes activity within six themes:

    • Education, Outreach and Capacity-Building
    • Health Effects of Climate Change
    • Maternal and Child Health
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Non-Communicable Diseases
    • Politics, Policy and Justice.

    The cross-fertilisation of the university's expertise in global health is coordinated through the UCL Institute for Global Health (IGH), directed by Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Centre for International Health & Development) and Professor Anne Johnson (UCL Population Health), and organised by Sarah Ball. 

    Within our university, the UCL IGH is:

    • stimulating interdisciplinary discourse and intellectual debate across the university
    • enabling the development of activity to make possible effective large-scale multidisciplinary approaches and interventions
    • initiating and enhancing discipline- and department-specific programmes, research and teaching.

    Beyond UCL, it is:

    • creating real and virtual spaces for academic discourse, in the public-policy arena and international political processes
    • exploring partnerships with other universities, government, industry, funding bodies, trusts and charities, UK and international agencies to support our research, education, advocacy and public-policy initiatives
    • positioning UCL as a key informant to governments, business and the community about matters relating to global health
    • developing the provision of UCL's intellectual capital through consultancy and project portfolios.

    The report gives details of last year's UCL IGH symposia series, which explored controversial subjects related to global health and the barriers to long-term sustained health improvement. It also includes opinion features by individuals in the UCL community on topics relating to global health, such as justice, climate change, disability and migration. 

    To download the report, to find out more or to get involved, use the links at the top of this article.

    The UCL Grand Challenges

    Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), explained the background to this activity: "UCL's excellence gives it both the opportunity and the obligation to lead in the resolution of problems of global significance. UCL's Research Strategy defines Grand Challenges: those areas in which we are facilitating cross-disciplinary interaction - within and beyond UCL - and applying our collective strengths, insights and creativity to overcome problems of global significance. They require the application of our expertise from every discipline."

    The first initiative is the Grand Challenge of Global Health. UCL has a strong international profile in the major disciplines that are key to addressing barriers to sustainable improvement of global health. These include anthropology, development planning, political science, built environment, law, climatology, human rights, economics and biomedicine. Within and beyond those disciplines perceived as central to the issue of global health are many thousands of expert individuals, working at the very forefront of their disciplines - from philosophy to transport studies, computer science to gender studies, environmental engineering to security science.

    The other Grand Challenges being developed at UCL are: Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.