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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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May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM), and the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) supports the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) in their efforts to address the issue of road safety among young people. We encourage a worldwide conversation to call attention to road traffic fatalities not only in the United States, but around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries, were nearly 95% of youth road traffic fatalities occur.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World report on child injury prevention, 2008, more than 260,000 children die as a result of road traffic crashes each year, with an estimated 10 million more sustaining non-life threatening injuries. Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the global leading cause of death for children 15-19 years, and the second leading cause of death for children 5-14 years.  What’s more, RTI’s rank within the top 15 causes of disease burden worldwide for children under 14.

National Youth Global Youth Traffic Safety Month® (GYTSM) was formed in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the United Nations 2007 Global Road Safety Week.

To find out more about GYTSM, visit the NOYS site: http://www.noys.org/default.aspx

To read the WHO’s World report on child injury prevention, click here: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/child/injury/world_report/en/

To find out more about JH-IIRU’s global road safety work, visit our publication list here, as well as our special issues on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gcpi20/13/sup1#.U3DLooFdXh4

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00201383/44/supp/S4

More than 5 million deaths are caused by injuries globally each year, resulting in devastating social and economic costs. These costs are especially high in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where health systems are struggling to prioritize injuries as a significant health concern. In LMICs, the economic losses associated with road traffic injuries (RTIs) alone are estimated to be $100 billion annually.

Given the devastating extent of this burden, there is an urgent need to push injury prevention to the forefront of public health initiatives and to understand the costs associated with injury, yet there is a lack of injury-related economic evidence from LMICs.

This is the conclusion JH-IIRU team members, including Hadley KH Wesson and associate director, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, reached in their recent publication, “The cost of injury and trauma care in low- and middle-income countries: A review of economic evidence,” in the journal Health Policy and Planning.

The goals of the paper are to 1) summarize the body of economic evidence on injury in LMICs; 2) assess the quality of cost-effectiveness studies using standard methods to highlight the role of economic data as a tool for injury-prevention advocacy; and 3) to provide recommendations regarding economic evaluations in LMICs.

The study found that while there are a relatively significant number of studies exploring the costs of injuries or hospitalizations due to injury in LMICs, a small fraction were complete economic studies, making it difficult to generalize costs of injury at regional or global levels. Despite the study’s limitations, the economic burden of injury is unquestionable and low-cost interventions such as traffic enforcement, installation of speed bumps, motorcycle helmet legislation and drowning prevention programs, are possible with support and investment from stakeholders and policy-makers.

Access the full study here:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24097794

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