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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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More than 800,000 child deaths per year can be attributed to unintentional injuries and more than 95% of both intentional and unintentional child deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the five most common unintentional injuries among children are from road traffic injuries, falls, burns, drowning and poisoning. And while reductions in child injury mortality have been observed in several high income countries (HICs) as a result of evidence-based programs, there are few studies providing data from LMICs.

As a response to the WHO’s call for better data collection on child injury, the Global Childhood Unintentional Injury Surveillance (GCUIS) study was initiated. This study, conducted by members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), including research associated Siran He, research program coordinator, Jeffrey C. Lunnen, faculty member Prasanthi Puvanachandra and director, Adnan Hyder, collected standardized child injury data from emergency departments at sites in five countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Malaysia and Pakistan. The study intended to determine the epidemiology of the five major childhood unintentional injuries in five major emergency departments in urban sites; to explore potential risk factors and determinants of injury severity and outcomes; and to summarize the characteristics of injuries sustained in homes.

The results of this study can be found in the recently published paper, “Global Childhood Unintentional Injury Study: Multisite Surveillance Data,” in the March 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

This study was supported in part by the World Health Organization, Department of Violence and Injury Prevention.

Access the full article here.

Several students working with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit had the opportunity to present their work during the 2014 Hopkins Global Health Day poster session on April 10.

Among them, Julia Zhang presented her Global Health Established Field Placement (GHEFP) work on preventing childhood injuries in the home in Malaysia and received a blue ribbon for her contribution. Julia is a PhD candidate in International Health and is working with JH-IIRU associate director, Abdul Bachani, to address the knowledge gap regarding childhood injuries at home in order to address the growing burden of child injuries.

Julia Poster
(L to R): GHEFP recipients Allaa Mageid, Julia Zhang with JH-IIRU associate director, Abdul Bachani

Other Global Health Established Field Placement grant recipients included Christina Meyer, an undergraduate in Public Health Studies, who worked as a research assistant on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program in Vietnam.  Jason Lambden, MSPH student in International Health, was also a part of the Global Road Safety Program, spending his internship in Brazil. 

Christina poster
GHEFP recipient Christina Meyer and Abdul Bachani

International Health PhD candidate Veena Sriram presented her work on pre-hospital emergency medical services in Pakistan as part of the Johns Hopkins University-Pakistan Fogarty International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program (JHU-PAK ICTIRT).  Brian Dougen, another MSPH student in International Health, was part of the Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries, and Disability in Uganda.

Veena poster
GHEFP recipient Veena Sriram

This goal of global health week is to showcase Johns Hopkins students' global health work and sustainability.

The Global Health Established Field Placement (GHEFP) program was established in the spring of 2010 to enhance the recruitment of students into global health research and practice careers by providing them the means to work with global health mentors and to attain international cross-cultural field experience.

Updated April 11, 2014

This week, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will participate in the 19th meeting of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) in New York City.  The overall goal of the collaboration is to strengthen and facilitate international cooperation and coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to improve road safety as well as to implement UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions and the recommendations of the World Report thereby supporting country programs.

The biannual meetings, which rotate locations internationally call together not only UNRSC members, but also national partners from around the world, including representatives from regional and local ministries of health and transport.

The most current meeting, taking place April 8-9, 2014, will include the Minister of Transport, Argentina and the Deputy Minister of Interior, Russian Federation as keynote speakers. The meeting will have five objectives: 1). to provide an update of the Decade of Action; 2). to discuss implementation of the UNGA resolution; 3). to discuss progress and future global road safety initiatives; 4). to discuss current and future activities of the project groups; 5). to provide updates on UNRSC partner activities and review membership requests.


The 19th meeting of the UNRSC concluded with much discussion centering around the past progress and future of global road safety initiatives, including updates on the monitoring and evaluation of the Decade of Action by JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder. Also up for discussion: The challenges of police enforcement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including lack of equipment.

At the close of the meeting, with WHO Director of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, Etienne Krug declaring that more needs to be done, more than 40 indicators were being finalized to continue to monitor progress of the Decade of Action. 

Opening Panel
Panel discussion featuring FIA President, Jean Todt; Michele Yeoh of Make Roads Safe; Health Ministers from Argentina and Brazil; and Etienne Krug, WHO

Hyder 2014 UNRSC
JH-IIRU Director Adnan Hyder updates UNRSC members on monitoring and evaluation of the Decade of Action

Krug 2014
Etienne Krug, Director, Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, WHO, reviews progress of Decade of Action

Gayle DiPietro, GRSP, emphasizing the importance of enforcement

About the UNRSC, courtesy of the World Health Organization (  

In April 2004, the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES58/289 on “Improving global road safety” invited WHO, working in close cooperation with the United Nations regional commissions, to act as coordinator on road safety issues across the United Nations system. The World Health Assembly accepted this invitation in May 2004 and WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which holds biannual meetings to discuss global road safety issues.

The Collaboration is an informal consultative mechanism whose members are committed to road safety efforts and in particular to the implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention. The goal of the Collaboration is to facilitate international cooperation and to strengthen global and regional coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to implement UN General Assembly Resolutions and the recommendations of the World report thereby supporting country programs.

On March 5, 2014, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will formally launch “Improving Trauma Care Systems to Reduce the Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in the Sultanate of Oman,” with a signing ceremony in Muscat.

The project will assess the trauma systems in order to improve hospital and pre-hospital care. The first stages of the project will engage members of the Omani government and The Research Council (TRC) as well as potential stakeholders and collaborators, such as the Ministry of Health and academic institutions such Sultan Qaboos University.

In February, JH-IIRU team members Amber Mehmood, Kent Stevens and Katharine Allen visited several hospitals, including the Royal Hospital, the Armed Forces Hospital, Khoula Hospital Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Sohaar Hospital and Nizwa Hospital for potential collaborations.

JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder will participate in the signing ceremony, which will also include H.E. Dr. Hilal Al Hinai, Secretary General of The Research Council; Dr. Saif Al Hiddabi, member of the steering committee of the national road safety program; and Dr. Talal Al Belushi, board member Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA)

Next steps for the project will include both quantitative and qualitative assessment of various components of trauma care in Oman, training workshops for clinical and research capacity building in trauma/injury prevention and pilot testing hospital based trauma registries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unintentional injuries, particularly road traffic injuries, drowning and fire-related burns are among the leading causes of death for children 1-19 years. This translates into more than 2000 child deaths each day as the result of an unintentional injury.

Despite these shocking numbers, child injuries have not received much attention in the public health community. In fact, to date, few studies have examined exclusively the global child injuries of all age groups and even fewer have provided evidence-based solutions for tackling this burden.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) is committed to reducing the global burden of childhood unintentional injuries. From our assessment of the potential of child injury prevention in "Saving 1000 children a day: The potential of child and adolescent injury prevention"(accessed here) to our Global Road Safety Program work in low- and middle-income countries that focuses on interventions like seatbelts and child restraints, JH-IIRU is dedicated to using reliable data to assess risks and introduce effective interventions. We have analyzed hospital data on pediatric burn injuries in South Africa, examined child road safety education programs in Malaysia and done extensive home injury risk assessment work in Pakistan.

On February 27th, the Unit will announce an important new project in Bangladesh that will once again focus on reducing the number of childhood fatalities in that country. We'll have more information available here in the coming days.

Until then, follow these links to access information on the unit's extensive work in preventing childhood unintentional injuries:

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