USAID Meeting on Child Injury
On May 21 – 22, 2014, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) and the Institute of International Programs (IIP) jointly organized a workshop on “Child injuries in low and middle income countries” in Baltimore, MD, USA. The meeting was sponsored under the Health Research Challenge for Impact (HRCI) agreement between USAID and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The overall goal of the workshop was to identify knowledge gaps in unintentional childhood injuries for five major injury mechanisms – road traffic injuries, drowning, burns, falls and poisoning – and to explore opportunities for addressing this burden. More than 40 child injury and child health experts from diverse disciplines, sectors and LMICs attended this workshop.
International Health professor and director of IIP, Bob Black opened the meeting. JH-IIRU director, and Associate Chair of International Health, Professor Adnan Hyder discussed the prospects and challenges of child injuries at the global level. Dr. Olakunle Alonge, JH-IIRU faculty member who is leading the Unit’s work on Saving of Lives from Drowning in Bangladesh (SoLiD) project, discussed effective interventions for child injury and quality of data sources, as well as provided a summary and next steps for the meeting. Also participating from JH-IIRU was Dr. Ricardo Pérez-Núñez, who was a postdoctoral fellow with the Unit.
Five major themes emerged from the workshop: 1) that interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral engagement are important for child injuries; 2) more information with higher quality on epidemiology and risk factors of child injuries in LMICs is still needed; 3) there is a need to define and engage in opportunities for conducting new studies on child injury prevention interventions in LMICs; 4) there is a need to start the process of defining and implementing a “package” of child injury interventions for LMICs; and 5) a “political map” for child injury prevention is needed.
Some of the recommendations that emerged from this meeting include steps to: promote engagement between child health and child injury groups so that they can learn from each other; develop new data sources to support the burden of diseases and the epidemiology of child injuries in LMICs; update the 2008 WHO/UNICEF World Report on Child Injuries Prevention; conduct a systematic review on child injury and intervention effectiveness from LMICs; develop and test a “package of interventions” for child injury; and conduct a global review of policies and plans for child injury prevention.
The workshop was successful in highlighting both the lack of knowledge and potential pathways for short- and long-term investments in addressing the burden of child unintentional injuries in LMICs.