Healthy lives, thriving society
This theme brings into focus our commitment to the UN Sustainable Goal to ensure health and wellbeing for all. It embeds this way of thinking in all areas of our work.
How health shapes a better world
We have a history as a University that looks to make a positive impact on major issues in society.
So it makes sense that one of our proposed theme areas is ‘health’ in all its forms: dealing with global pandemics, raising awareness globally about mental health, supporting our own students and staff with their wellbeing and working with local, national and governments worldwide to reduce health inequalities.
Our current activity
Our holistic response to COVID-19
This theme is demonstrated in our engagement and support for our staff and student community and local area. During lockdown and the global coronavirus pandemic, we recognised the enormous challenges that students and staff faced. In response, we invested in innovative online mental health support, Zoom fitness sessions and counselling services.
To help with practical concerns, we distributed emergency food parcels across our campuses and sent IT equipment to students. We worked with Barnet Council so that those experiencing domestic violence could use our halls of residence as a safe place to stay. In Malta, staff donated their 3D printer to Malta’s general hospital. Across Dubai, Mauritius and Malta, staff worked hard to get students flights home in the early 2020 lockdown.
Health research for global health
We are leading ground-breaking studies to improve health, including wastewater analysis for early detection of coronavirus outbreaks and non-invasive imaging of lung function of COVID-19 patients.
Our research on reducing global health inequalities, due to obesity, cholesterol and maternal mortality, has been published in journals such as Nature and The Lancet. As a result of work led by Middlesex academics, the drug Dabigatran, a treatment for atrial defibrillation, has been included in the 21st Edition of the World Health Organisation Model List of Essential Medicines. That means this clinically-effective treatment will be more accessible to patients in developing countries.
Partnering to create a healthy thriving society
We are committed to sharing our expertise to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and working hand in hand with communities.
In Hendon we work with the London Borough of Barnet, NHS Trusts, RAF Museum and Dementia Clubs. Our staff and students volunteer in schools teaching Maths and English and engage with local children to help widen horizons about future career options.
Success stories from our community
Improving care through culturally competent robots
We are a UK partner in CARESSES, the largest ever global study investigating the use of robots in caring for the elderly.
Our research team was responsible for developing cultural competency in the robots so they were able to respond to the culture-specific needs and preferences of individual older people. The research was funded by the EU and Japanese government.
The work has important implications for countries with more people are living longer and fewer people to look after them. Evaluation shows that using artificial intelligence in this way should have real benefits, for example to help alleviate mental health problems and loneliness which are both significant health concerns.
Innovative testing possibilities for COVID-19
During 2020, we successfully launched an international initiative to support testing for COVID-19 in sewage. This work is significant as the presence of COVID-19 in sewage could provide early warning of local outbreaks of the virus.
Now a major research proposal in this field has been approved for a funding grant of £5million by the UK’s Department of Health Track and Trace Innovation Team. The project is led Dr Maria Chiara Di Cesare with the participation of 100 local schools to investigate the occurrence and prevalence of COVID-19 in sewage. This will then be triangulated with GP data sets on respiratory illnesses. Sewage samples from schools could provide another method to track progression of the coronavirus and act as a warning that more action needs to be taken in a local area.
We want to hear from you
We have set the scene with some examples of the work we do in this area. We know this is not a complete list by any means, so now we are looking for your help.
Help us enhance our reputation and build up a better picture of activity by sharing examples of your work and from outside Middlesex.
Engage with our strategy
Want to share more detail or files with us? We are very keen to hear more.
Email us at [email protected]