Skip Navigation

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

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

Bookmark and Share

News

Keyword: road traffic injuries

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a leading cause of death and disability in Africa. With a rate of 28.3 fatalities per 100,000 population, it’s the highest in the world. What’s more, the economic cost of RTIs on the continent is estimated to be 1-2% of the gross national product. Despite these high numbers, there is little data available on prevention and treatment strategies.  This is true for the central African country of Cameroon, where the number of road traffic deaths has been steadily increasing since the 1970s.

Recently, in an effort to examine road traffic injuries JH-IIRU team members published “Road Traffic Injuries in Yaoundé, Cameroon: A hospital-based pilot surveillance study,” in the journal Injury. The paper looked at patients injured in RTIs who sought care at the main referral hospital in Yaoundé to determine not only the characteristics of those injured but also to identify the associations between these characteristics and outcomes which could be used to improve treatment in Cameroon as well as  other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The study provides valuable information about RTIs which the team hopes can be used to improve emergency care in Cameroon and other LMICs and highlights the importance of RTI prevention.

The team included JH-IIRU associate director, Kent Stevens and director Adnan Hyder, and colleagues from WHO Africa, the Ministry of Public Health in Yaoundé, as well as the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.  Catherine Juillard, currently in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a post-doctoral fellow in JH-IIRU when this study was conducted.

This study is part of the unit’s ongoing global work on trauma care.

Read more here

The middle-income countries of Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa are collectively known as BRICS and have all recently experienced rapid and considerable economic growth as well as substantial political and social change.

The rapid developments in these countries has led to an increased number of vehicles and an increased complexity of traffic mix which, along with an infrastructure and law enforcement that are struggling to keep pace, appear to be key factors in increasing the number of road traffic injuries (RTIs), both fatal and non-fatal. The BRICS countries already account for approximately 20% of world’s deaths from RTIs and associated economic losses (which are estimated at 1-3% of the countries’ gross domestic products); this number is only expected to increase unless investments in road safety are made.

Recently, JH-IIRU team members, director Adnan Hyder and research assistant Andres Vecino-Ortiz, published, “BRICS: Opportunities to improve road safety” in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, which examines the relationship between economic growth and road traffic injuries, presents evidence on the current status of road traffic injuries and recommends improvement of road safety monitoring and evaluation.

Their research finds that in order to improve road safety, the five countries must invest in system-wide road safety interventions as well as collect more reliable data in order to track changes in more detail, increase law enforcement and research capacity.   

Read more here.

On June 25 – 26, 2014, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) director, Adnan Hyder, and associate director, Abdul Bachani, participated in the Research Week 2014 Summit at the Universiti Putra (UPM) in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The two-day summit, organized by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the university, featured discussions ranging from clinical trials to responsible conduct of research. 

Dr. Hyder gave a plenary talk, “Global Road Safety: Evaluation Strategies in 10 Countries,” in which he discussed the work of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program.

Drs. Hyder and Bachani met with UPM leadership, including vice chancellor Dr. Mohd Ramlan, deputy vice chancellor Professor M. Nasir Shamdsudin and deputy dean of research, Dr. Zamberi Sekawi to discuss collaborations on projects such as child injuries in the home. They also met with longtime collaborator, Dr. Kulanthayan KC Mani from the Road Safety Research Center at UPM to discuss mutual collaborations.

Tahir Malaysia
Dr. Hyder (right) with Dr. Tahir (left), Director for the Institute for Public Health in Malaysia
Hyder UPM
Dr. Adnan Hyder speaks at the plenary session, Global Road Safety: Evaluation Strategies in 10 Countries

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.

On February 12th, as part of the effort to draw attention to the growing burden of road traffic injuries, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will launch “Global Road Safety: Updates from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Injury. The launch will coincide with a noontime seminar at the Bloomberg School in Baltimore which features panelists from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) account for nearly 1.24 deaths each year, with an additional 20 to 50 million people injured or disabled. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the rate of RTIs is twice as high as in developed nations. 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 LMICs 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.

The JH-IIRU is dedicated to reducing those rates of road traffic injuries around the world. Led by Dr. Adnan A. Hyder, in 2010, JH-IIRU joined a consortium of six partners, including the WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership, ASIRT, EMBARQ and the World Bank, to evaluate and implement road safety solutions in ten countries that account for nearly half (48%) of all traffic deaths globally. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program is a five-year undertaking generously funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and dedicated to evaluating and implementing road safety solutions where they are needed most.  

The goal of the Road Safety Program is to save lives by providing evidence for stronger road safety interventions around the world.  It is equally important, however, to increase awareness of the devastating impact of road traffic injuries.  For this reason, JH-IIRU has published its second special issue.  “Global Road Safety: Updates from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries.”  This new supplement features 12 scientific papers jointly authored by nearly 50 JH-IIRU colleagues and collaborators from 30 institutions and organizations within the participating countries. The issue presents findings from the ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities in all ten countries, as well as an examination 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.

“These papers are an important step in building the evidence-base on injury control and road safety in LMICs and demonstrates the promise of mixed-methods research in our understanding of what works in many different contexts for both prevention and treatment of RTIs,” said Hyder.

The supplemental issue is also part of the commitment of the partners in the Global Road Safety Program to share knowledge, provide access to progressive results and stimulate further dialogue on road traffic injury prevention and control in developing countries—something Dr. Hyder sees as vitally important.

“The amount of research done on road safety in LMICs is not proportional to the burden of injury in these countries,” said Hyder. “In the most recent Cochrane review on road safety interventions, only 2.5% of the trails utilized were conducted in LMICs. And all only focused on a single intervention—helmet wearing! It is imperative that we shine a spotlight on the under-recognized burden of road traffic injuries.”

While road safety issues have recently begun garnering more attention, much more work is needed. This special issue brings to light the under-recognized burden of road traffic injuries even as it represents important strides in road safety research.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit gratefully acknowledges Bloomberg Philanthropies for their support, as well as that of our in-country collaborators and consortium partners.

For more information on the seminar, click here.

For more information on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, visit the JH-IIRU website: http://www.jhsph.edu/iiru/index.html

To access the special issue, visit the Injury website at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00201383/44/supp/S4

World Health Organization

©2015, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
Web policies, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205