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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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Keyword: low- and middle-income countries

In September 2011, the Sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly acknowledged Bloomberg Philanthropies’ donation of US$ 125 million to improve global road safety. This contribution has supported the implementation of a five-year project in 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to prevent road traffic injuries, which coincides with the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The multi-million dollar contribution is considered the largest donation to global road safety by far.The recipients of the donation represent a global consortium on road safety. Since 2009, The Johns Hopkins University International Injuries Research Unit (JH-IIRU) has partnered with five other international institutions: the World Health Organization, the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility, the Global Road Safety Commitment, EMBARQ - the World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, and the Association for Safe International Road Travel. To date JH-IIRU has closely monitored road safety interventions in each RS-10 country and collected several rounds of primary data as regards targeted risk factors: motorcycle helmet use, seatbelt and child restraint use, speeding and drunk driving.


The executive director of the World Health Organization’s Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Dr. Abdul Ghaffar, visited the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit on August 15, 2011.

Dr. Ghaffar has worked for more than 25 years in low and middle-income countries managing research for health systems, and teaching health policy and management. He earned his PhD in international health from Johns Hopkins, and his interest is to trigger a global movement to use evidence for improved policy and management decisions at the country level.

Members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit were pleased to meet with Dr. Ghaffar and discuss potential collaborations.

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Dr. Abdul Ghaffar, executive director of the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, and Dr. Adnan Hyder, director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit.

On Monday, May 16, 2011, the Unit was honored to welcome several guests from Duke University for a daylong meeting and special seminar which focused on trauma care in the developing world. Led by Dr. John Bartlett, director of the Program in International Research at Duke and a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at Duke University Medical Center, the Duke team included Dr. Anthony Roche, Dr. Robert Zura, Dr. William Richardson and Kelly Deal.

The special seminar, entitled “Surgical Capacity Building in East Africa through Twinning Training and Technology,” was led by Dr. Michael Haglund, professor of neurosurgery and neurobiology at Duke University and program director of the Duke Neurosurgery Training Program. Dr. Haglund is also the co-director of the Uganda East African Neurosurgery Training Program. Dr. Adnan Hyder, director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, moderated the seminar.

The Unit was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with fellow experts in the fields of trauma care and international health, and looks forward to future collaborations. For more information about partnering with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, please contact us.

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Dr. Michael Haglund presenting his seminar, “Surgical Capacity Building in East Africa through Twinning Training and Technology,” on May 16, 2011.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit led a special seminar on December 3, 2010 that provided an in-depth look at trauma care and research in low and middle-income countries. The seminar, entitled “Trauma in the Developing World: Innovative Approaches to Research and Evaluation,” was co-presented by the Division of Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was put on in collaboration with the Department of Surgery of the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. The seminar attracted a large number of attendees from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and several organizations outside of the school.

Dr. Kent Stevens, the associate director of trauma and clinical services for the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, and a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, delivered a powerful presentation on the use of data in improving care of the injured patient in developing countries. His talk was followed by Dr. Michel Aboutanos, the director of the International Trauma System Development Program in the Division of Trauma and Critical Care at Virginia Commonwealth University, who spoke specifically about trauma system development in the Latin American region.

Joined by Dr. Rao Ivatury, the director of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care at Virginia Commonwealth University, and also Dr. James Neifeld, the chair of the Department of Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, the group then formed an interactive panel moderated by Dr. Adnan Hyder, the director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit. The discussion centered on increasing access to trauma care, evaluating existing programs and overall improving the trauma systems in low and middle-income countries.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit was pleased to host this important seminar and looks forward to continued collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University and others as we work together toward reducing the burden of trauma injuries around the world.

For more information, please contact the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit. Presentations from the seminar will soon be available for download.

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Dr. Kent Stevens, Associate Director of Trauma and Clinical Services, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, delivers his presentation.

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Dr. Michel Aboutanos, Director, International Trauma System Development Program, Virginia Commonwealth University, delivers his presentation.

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Dr. Adnan Hyder, Director, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, moderates the panel discussion.

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Panel discussion featuring (from left to right) Dr. Kent Stevens, Dr. Michel Aboutanos, Dr. Rao Ivatury and Dr. James Neifeld.

Epidemiologic Reviews, a journal from Oxford Journals, today published recent work from Dr. Aruna Chandran, the International Injury Research Unit’s associate director of monitoring and surveillance. The paper, entitled “The Global Burden of Unintentional Injuries and an Agenda for Progress,” calls for improvements in injury research and prevention around the world, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Dr. Chandran led the research project, along with Dr. Adnan Hyder of the International Injury Research Unit and Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa of the University of Iowa. Dr. Peek-Asa is the director of the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center.

Using data from the 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease Study, the researchers concluded that unintentional injuries pose a significant global health burden. According to the WHO, unintentional injuries were responsible for more than 3.9 million deaths in 2004. Road traffic injuries comprise the largest proportion of these (i.e., 33 percent).

Strikingly, more than 90 percent of the 3.9 million injury-related deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries. Many of these countries, especially those with poorly developed public health systems, have yet to prioritize injuries as a public health problem. Because 90 percent of the world’s population lives in low and middle-income countries, more research around injuries is needed so that governments can make informed, evidence-based decisions about the programs that work.

For more information about this research, or to download the full text, please click here.

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Dr. Aruna Chandran, associate director of monitoring and surveillance for the International Injury Research Unit.

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