This month, JH-IIRU published its second special issue, “Global Road Safety: Updates from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” in Injury. This supplemental issue, which features 12 scientific papers jointly authored by nearly 50 JH-IIRU colleagues and collaborators from 30 institutions and organizations within the participating countries, presents findings from the ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities in the ten participating countries, and includes an evaluation of the trauma component of the program. It highlights the mixed methods approach of data collection and showcases both the successes as well as the challenges of collecting such data in real-world settings.  

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) account for nearly 1.24 million deaths each year, with 92% occurring in low- and middle-income countries.  Today, RTIs are the 8th leading cause of death globally, and if no action is taken, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that they will jump to the 5th leading cause by 2030. Moreover, the economic losses associated with road traffic deaths are just as devastating, costing low- and middle-income countries an estimated $100 billion every year. While these statistics are shocking, the impact of road traffic crashes is often overlooked as a serious disease burden.

In an effort to reduce these unacceptable rates of road traffic injuries, in 2010, JH-IIRU joined a consortium of six partners, including the World Health Organization, the Global Road Safety Partnership, the Association for Safe International Road Travel, EMBARQ and the World Bank to evaluate and implement road safety solutions in 10 countries that account for nearly half (48%) of all traffic deaths globally. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program (formerly the Road Safety in 10 Countries Project, or RS10) is a five-year initiative that draws on support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Health Organization to evaluate and implement road safety solutions where they are needed most.

In 2012, JH-IIRU published its first special issue, “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low and Middle Income Countries,” in Traffic Injury Prevention, which highlighted new and aggregate data collected and analyzed in the 10 participating countries during the first two years of the Global Road Safety Program. These 11 scientific papers served as a foundation for the monitoring and evaluation work of the entire project.

The goal of the Global Road Safety Program is to save lives by providing evidence for stronger road safety interventions around the world.  By generating new knowledge and providing important data on proven interventions such as seatbelt- and helmet-wearing, reducing speeding and eliminating drunk driving, JH-IIRU hopes to encourage key decision makers to develop policies and solutions that will save lives.

JH-IIRU is thankful to all who contributed, especially Bloomberg Philanthropies for their generous support. Hyder said.

The newest special issue can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00201383/44/supp/S4

The previous special issue can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gcpi20/13/sup1#.Usrb4dJDvh4