Tackling global health challenges

Through our global University community, we’re improving lives by engaging and involving patients, and the public, on major global health challenges, linked to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing.

We’re prioritising parts of the world affected by the most severe health inequalities, as well as conflict and humanitarian challenges. We conduct world-leading research in the biological, medical and health sciences across eight research themes.

These are some examples of the global health initiatives that are making a difference to the world.

Post-conflict disability

Limb loss following armed conflict is a devastating health problem in several low and middle-income countries, such as Gulu in northern Uganda where more than 1,000 people have been left disabled after the insurgency. The University of Gulu and The University of Manchester have established a multi-disciplinary network to address this problem. This involves researchers from the University travelling to Uganda to map the area to ascertain just how many people need orthopaedic support, working with local communities to reduce the stigma around disability and setting up an outreach facility to provide support to those who have been injured.

Crisis response on a global scale

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) is our leading global centre for the study of humanitarianism and conflict response, global health, international disaster management and peacebuilding. The work is driven by a desire to inform and support policy and decision-makers to optimise collaborations between partner organisations and to foster increased understanding and debate within the field.

Bringing together the disciplines of medicine and the humanities, the HCRI aims to facilitate improvements in crisis response on a global scale, while providing a centre of excellence for practitioners in emergencies and conflicts.

Research streams include:

Improving outcomes for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Research at The University of Manchester has made a significant impact nationally and internationally on improving the outcome for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Survival rates of children with ALL in the west have risen from 60% to 90%, though in countries with limited resources ALL continues to be a fatal disease. Globally, the survival rate for children with ALL is around 40%.

Professor Vaskar Saha has helped to increase survival rates by 10% in the UK and in India. By linking five major paediatric centres, he has created a national hub of cancer centres which work together to agree standards of care based on the principles of the NHS. They have implemented agreed, uniform standards of care and treatment across all of the treatment centres and formed the Indian Childhood Collaborative Leukaemia (ICiCLe) group.

Since its inception, the ICiCLe group has treated more than 2,500 ALL patients, halving deaths from treatment, increasing survival rates from 60% to 75% and benefitting more than 4,000 families.

Better treatments for breast cancer

Here at the University we want to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.

Our links with NHS organisations and cancer charities – as well as the support of the local population – make for an unrivalled beacon of research, where outstanding clinical work is leading to innovative techniques and personalised treatments.

Through the Manchester Cancer Research Centre we work with Cancer Research UK and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust to turn research findings in the laboratory into better, more effective, treatments for cancer patients. The Centre’s new building houses 150 researchers and world-class facilities for imaging and sample analysis.

Our research trials have benefitted 1.5 million women globally and our partnerships with companies such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline help to bring new drugs to the market. We‘re also reaching out to where help is needed most – such as in Uganda, where our academics and medics are helping to roll out a national programme of cervical cancer screening.

Find out more about our research on breast cancer.