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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Date: Oct 2013

JH-IIRU Associate Directors, Kent Stevens and Abdul Bachani, along with post doctoral fellow, Fatima Paruk, are in Nairobi, Kenya this week as part of a series of high-level meetings as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program.

More than 3000 people die each year in Kenya as the result of road traffic crashes.  JH-IIRU, as part of the Global Road Safety Program, is working in two districts, Thika and Naivasha, to monitor and evaluate two major risk factors, helmet-wearing and speeding.

Research suggests that properly wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by nearly 70% and death by more than 40%. Research has also shown that an increase in average speed is directly related to both the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the consequences.

While in Nairobi, the JH-IIRU team will take part in the launch of a national speed prevention campaign, “Slow Down, Speed Kills.” The campaign, part of a joint collaboration with Global Road Safety Program consortium partner, the World Health Organization,  as well as The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport, includes radio messaging and outdoor adverts on billboards. The aim is to raise awareness among motorists of the risks and consequences of speeding.

JH-IIRU’s work in Thika and Naivasha, as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, shows that there has been a substantial increase in speed compliance. In Thika, speed compliance increased from 42% in June 2011 to 71% in June 2013, while the increase in Naivasha was from 50% to 77% for the same time frame. However, large vehicles, like matatus and buses and light trucks remain the least compliant in both districts.

The launch is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program. Click here for an infographic on the work the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program constortium partners have been doing in Kenya.

On October 10-11, JH-IIRU hosted two experts to discuss care of the injured patient in low- and middle-income countries. Hosted by associate director, Kent Stevens, the experts met with members of the JH-IIRU team.

Dr. Razzak is a long-time JH-IIRU collaborator and affiliated faculty member who is currently serving as the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Aga Khan University and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center in Emergency Medicine and Trauma at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan. Dr. Razzak is also part of the Aman Foundation, a non-profit trust located and operating in Pakistan. The foundation aims to make strategic interventions in the country to support development in the areas of healthcare, education and nutrition. Dr. Razzak is CEO of AmanHealth, which oversees the foundation’s emergency medical service, AmanAmbulance. This service consists of a strategically positioned network of 100 state-of-the-art ambulances, with doctors and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on board to provide comprehensive, round-the-clock coverage to the city of Karachi.

Dr. Rizwan Naseer is the Director General of The Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122), the largest emergency humanitarian service of Pakistan. Rescue 1122 was developed in response to the failure of repeated attempts to revitalize and modernize the old organizations mandated for emergency management. Because of the services performance during emergencies and disasters in recent years, Rescue 1122 has been designated a Disaster Response Force by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Government of the Punjab.

The experts discussed the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, as well as trauma care efforts in Kenya and how to apply the work of JH-IIRU, the Aman Foundation and Rescue 1122 in the developing world.  

By all accounts, the meeting was very successful, and JH-IIRU looks forward to further collaborations with Dr. Razzak and Dr. Naseer.

Dr. Kent Stevens, right, gives Drs Junaid Razzak (left) and Rizwan Naseer (center) a tour of the Hopkins ER

On October 9, 2013, JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder, associate director, Kent Stevens and faculty member, Amber Mehmood participated in the American College of Surgeons Annual Clinical Congress in Washington DC.

In the panel, “Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Trauma Care Systems: Experiences from Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” Dr. Stevens discussed the trauma care work in Kenya as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, and Dr. Mehmood discussed Pakistan’s efforts in trauma care and management. Also participating in the panel was former JH-IIRU post doctoral fellow, Hadley Wesson, who discussed trauma surveillance work at the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

The panel, moderated by Dr. James Neifeld, a surgical oncologist at the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Surgery and past JH-IIRU collaborator and  co-moderated by Dr. Hyder, focused on trauma care systems in low- and middle-income countries. The panel aimed to demonstrate that established interventions can make a significant impact on injury prevention and public health, while highlighting fundamental elements in strengthening the care of the injured patient, such as defining the epidemiology of trauma care injuries, implementing evidence-based trauma care interventions, and assessing the overall impact of these interventions.

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the American College of Surgeons. The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. The College currently has approximately 78,000 members, including more than 4,000 Fellows in other countries, making it the largest organization of surgeons in the world. There are presently more than 2,600 Associate Fellows.

JH-IIRU is very pleased to announce that Dr. Ricardo Pérez-Núñez had joined the Unit as a post doctoral fellow.

Dr. Pérez-Núñez studied medicine at the Universidad de Guadalajara in (México) before completing his Master’s and PhD at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP). He started working at INSP’s Health System Research Centre in 2004, and since 2006 his work has focused on road traffic injury prevention. He co-led the research arm for violence and injury prevention at INSP from March 2008 to March 2009 and from June 2010 to date.

Dr. Pérez-Núñez has worked extensively with JH-IIRU in his capacity as one of the main collaborators for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program in Mexico. In addition, he is the Secretary of the Road Traffic Injuries Research Network (RTIRN) and a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores in Mexico. In 2009, he was part of the consultant team that prepared the Status Report of Road Safety in the Americas which estimated the economic impact of road traffic injuries in Belize. In October 2012, he presented two studies at the 2012 World Safety Conference in Wellington, New Zealand.

Dr. Pérez-Núñez will spend at least one year in Baltimore working on the Global Road Safety Program in Mexico and Brazil and is interested in economic analyses. He has published more than 22 peer-reviewed articles, three books and two chapters in the area of health financing, analysis of health systems response and road traffic injuries.

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