Medical Sciences Division

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The Oxford-India Health Research Network (OIHRN) is an informal network comprising established and emerging researchers and students at the University of Oxford, engaged in or aiming to establish collaborations with health researchers and health research organisations in India. The Network was established in early 2012 by The George Institute for Global Health, the Nuffield Department of Population Health and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.



International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century, or INTERGROWTH-21st, is an international multidisciplinary consortium of more than 300 researchers and clinicians from 27 institutions in 18 countries worldwide, coordinated from the University of Oxford and launched in 2008. This 5 year research examines the healthy growth of foetuses and new born babies in eight countries, including India, with the Indian research centre at the INCLEN Trust in New Delhi. In collaboration with the Department of Nutrition of the WHO, the results will be incorporated into national/international, maternal and neonatal programmes for monitoring maternal/infant health and nutrition.

The results of the study with methodological approach and practice toolkits are published in the website. The next phase of INTERGROWTH 21st named INTERPRACTICE 21st has also begun with affiliations from centres and institutions across the globe. INTERPRACTICE 21st aims to promote optimal post natal growth in infants upto 6 months. This phase of the project has affiliation and study centres at India from Government Medical College, Chandigarh and St John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore.


INTERGROWTH-21st webpage                                                                                                    

INTERPRACTICE-21st webpage

Cancer is already the second leading cause of death in India. But with an aging population and changes in diet and lifestyle, the incidence of cancer in India is expected to double in the next 10 years to about 2m cases a year. To help address this critical issue, a partnership was established in 2005 between Oxford University and six leading cancer centres in India, the INDOX (INDia-OXford) Cancer Research Network. INDOX has established itself as India’s leading academic oncology network. Though the funding has run out, the established links and projects through the network are still maintained to find out further prospectives of research areas in oncology.


INDOX website

Studies and researches were conducted by Nuffield Department of Population Health to find insights and reasons about the increasing death rate across developing countries due to Cardiovascular diseases. With respect to the Indian population, studies from the department spanning over years have shown the rate of increase in smoking tobacco among Indian people and its effects on human body. 

With support and core funding from British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and Medical research Council, the department conducted two primary studies in South Indian states of Tamilnadu (Chennai) and Kerala (Trivandrum) between 1998-2002. 

Chennai Prospective Study- A prospective study of half a million adults living in the city of Chennai (formerly Madras) arose out of discussions at the 1994 International Cancer Congress in Delhi about how to assess the effects of tobacco on health in different parts of India.

Trivandrum Tobacco Study- The Trivandrum Tobacco Study is a population-based study of 0.1 million urban men surveyed 2000-2002 and 0.3 million men from the rural areas surrounding Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) surveyed 2002-2006. Using a structured pre-tested questionnaire, trained social investigators collected data on age, sex, tobacco use (smoking and smokeless), alcohol consumption, blood pressure, adiposity, household possessions, education and occupation. Follow-up for mortality occurs every 5 years by household visits with cause of death ascertained by verbal autopsy. A complete re-survey of 40,000 survivors will be conducted every 5 years. 

Systematic Medical Appraisal, Reference and Treatment (SMART) Health is an ongoing project from The George Institute. This project aims at creating affordable and effective primary health care for patients at high risk of premature death or disability in rural communities. SMART Health provides the primary care workforce with a suite of smartphone-based applications that include a simple electronic health record, wireless point-of-care diagnostics and series of evidence-based algorithms for the management of patients with, or at high-risk of, premature death or disability. Initially rolled out for Australian rural parts, SMART health programme later extended its roots to Indian rural communities with support from The George Institute UK and Global Alliance for Chronic Disease. 

Taking this concept to the next step, The George Institute with Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health started working on SMARThealth Pregnancy programme. With the participation of community health workers, The George Institute intends to adapt the SMARThealth system for antenatal and postnatal care, and train community healthcare workers and primary care doctors to use the new SMARThealth Pregnancy system. The institute will then evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the platform to support frontline healthcare workers to identify and manage the care of pregnant women at high risk of future heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and ensure their life-long health.

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MaatHRI aims to create a large and diverse platform for academics and scientists to conduct large-scale epidemiological research to improve maternal and perinatal health in a setting with a high burden of mortality and morbidity. Studies that are critical to informing policies and planning to address new and emerging complications in pregnancy can be quickly and efficiently rolled out through MaatHRI. The resultant new and improved scientific evidence will help policy makers and clinicians in India and globally to develop guidance to improve pregnancy care. The collaborative platform will also be a training platform for students and early career researchers from the UK and India interested in developing skills in conducting research in maternal and perinatal health in a low-to-middle income country setting. MaatHRI could form the basis of many studies well in to the future. 

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