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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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On September 17, 2018, leadership and faculty from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will travel to Brazil to participate in critical road safety meetings with local policymakers and academic collaborators.

Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, PhD, and Assistant Scientist Dr. Andres Vecino-Ortiz, MD, PhD, will represent JH-IIRU as they visit both Sao Paulo and Fortaleza to promote existing work and discuss future opportunities.

On September 18, they’ll attend a press conference with the Secretary of Transport who will share highlights of the annual report, introducing data from the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).

The Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety is a five-year, $125 million effort aimed at reducing the burden of global traffic injuries and fatalities and focuses on nine low-and middle-income countries’ 10 cities, including both Sao Paulo and Fortaleza.

“We’re honored to be in attendance of this week’s meetings to highlight the life-saving work being implemented here in Brazil,” said Dr. Bachani. “To see the progress on the ground and recognize the great strides by our partners through this initiative, it’s been a real pleasure. And we’re grateful to be supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies to strengthen these proven interventions.”

Then, on September 20, the team will meet with University of Fortaleza officials to discuss future partnerships on research and training opportunities in road safety.

“This is a great opportunity for both institutions to find ways to strengthen our research and teaching collaboration network around the road safety field,” said Dr. Vecino-Ortiz. “Fortaleza is a city that has made outstanding progress improving road safety conditions. This partnership could also be an opportunity for Brazilians and citizen abroad to learn more about what catalyzed Fortaleza’s success.”

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) Director Dr. Abdulgafoor M. Bachani traveled to Peoria, Arizona to celebrate the Michael Phelps Foundation’s (MPF) 10th anniversary on Saturday, August 25, 2018.

The event, held at the Peoria pool, featured Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps who spoke on behalf of the foundation and discussed drowning prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles for children. After the speech, local children participants received swim instruction from program educators on how to float, as well as proper stroke techniques.  JH-IIRU was one of several organizations in attendance for the event, along with Boys & Girls Club of America and Pool Safely.

Recently, Dr. Bachani and JH-IIRU faculty worked to evaluate MPF’s “im program,” which aims to provide program participants with skills to become comfortable in and around swimming pools. Unit research found that the program made swim training accessible to approximately 2,500 families that would otherwise be unable to participate and nearly 7,000 children were able to participate in formal swim training sessions for the first time to explore and enjoy the water.

“As we, too, celebrate ten years of research at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, we’re so thrilled to be able to work with the Michael Phelps Foundation and applaud the team’s commitment to drowning prevention,” said Dr. Bachani. “We look forward to future partnership opportunities where we can join together to make a difference and save lives from this preventable risk factor.”

Outside of its work with MPF, JH-IIRU has initiated one of the largest implementation research studies on drowning on low- and middle-income countries with SOLID—Saving of children’s Lives from Drowning. Based in Bangladesh, the SOLID research project aims to reduce the shocking number of childhood deaths due to drownings.

This year marks a decade of innovation and research in global injury prevention and control for JH-IIRU and the Unit. Founded in 2008 by Dr. Adnan A. Hyder, JH-IIRU was established within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health to respond to the growing burden of injuries worldwide, where injuries cause more than five million deaths every year.Bachani and Phelps

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Bachani and Michael Phelps joined together on August 25 to celebrate the Michael Phelps Foundation's 10th anniversary.

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) hosted the closing ceremony and reception for participants, staff, and guests of the 2018 Global Road Safety Leadership Course at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

The 60+ participants from 22 countries assembled in Sheldon Hall before hearing from JH-IIRU and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) leadership share welcoming remarks. JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and GRSP’s Judy Fleiter were among the presenters.

Next, former JH-IIRU director Dr. Adnan Hyder spoke, encouraging this offering’s participants to take advantage of their opportunity. Dr. Hyder also thanked his colleagues and partners throughout the Global Road Safety Leadership Course experience.

“This has been a great pleasure for me,” said Dr. Hyder. “I want to deeply thank Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dr. Kelly Henning, and Kelly Larson. This has been a great pleasure for me and I look forward to seeing how you all can change the world."

Following Dr. Hyder’s remarks, participant Nuananong Pankumhang of Thailand took to the podium to speak on behalf of the participant body and provide her perspective from the two week experience.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, GRSP’s Blaise Murphet invited each participant on stage to accept their certificates of completion and shake the hands of both Fleiter and Dr. Hyder. Participants, staff, and guests then joined together in Feinstone Hall for the closing reception.


Thailand's Nuananong Pankumhang speaks on behalf of the 2018 GRSLC participants at the course closing ceremony on August 3, 2018 in Baltimore.

Participants of the 2018 Global Road Safety Leadership Course heard from city road safety experts and corporate leaders while visiting the office of Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the offering’s Day 5 site visit to New York, New York on Friday, July 27.
Following a week’s worth of sessions and group work, course participants from more than 20 countries were welcomed to Bloomberg’s office by Kelly Larson, public health program director. Larson briefed the participants on the program’s mission and commitment to reducing the number of lives lost due to motor vehicle crashes around the globe.
Inspector Dennis Fulton of the New York Police Department and Kim Wiley-Schwartz of the New York City Department of Transportation each then took the podium to discuss road safety through the lenses of enforcement and implementation, respectively.
Following an interactive question and answer session and a lunch reception in the Bloomberg Cafeteria, participants had the opportunity to explore the city and examine key intersections for road safety street designs from representatives from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
The course will continue with presentations, group work, and site visits through Friday, August 3, when participants will present in groups to demonstrate their understanding of road safety and leadership.alt

Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, PhD, MHS has been named director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), beginning August 1, 2018. Dr. Bachani will become JH-IIRU’s second director, succeeding founding Director Dr. Adnan Hyder, who was recently named Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor in Global Health at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. 

Dr. Bachani, an assistant professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where the Unit is based, has played a critical role in JH-IIRU’s first 10 years of innovation and research in global injury prevention and control. A founding member of the Unit, he first served as associate director for training and capacity development before becoming deputy director. As director of JH-IIRU, Dr. Bachani will continue his leadership of a diverse, multidisciplinary team of faculty and scientists in injury prevention research, collaboration, and training.  

“We are thrilled to see Dr. Abdul Bachani in this new leadership role with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit,” said Dr. David Peters, Edgar Berman Chair in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “His experience in the department and within the Unit will serve the team well to continue their lifesaving work across the globe.”

As deputy director of JH-IIRU, Dr. Bachani played a key role for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Focusing on four road safety risk factors, BIGRS focuses on improving road safety in 10 cities around the world through generation of evidence, evaluation of road safety risk factors, and development and implementation of programs.

“We are excited that Dr. Bachani has been appointed director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit,” said Kelly Larson, who oversees Bloomberg Philanthropies’  injury prevention programs. “We’ve valued Dr. Adnan Hyder’s leadership at JH-IIRU and wish him the best in his next endeavor. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with the Unit, particularly in road safety and drowning prevention.”

Dr. Bachani currently leads a multi-country study to understand long-term health, societal, and economic consequences of physical disability. He also leads efforts to train other public health professionals and scholars to build capacity for injury and disability research in low- and middle-income countries globally, and led the development of Road Traffic Injury Prevention and Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (RTIP), one of the first free, online training certificate programs hosted by JH-IIRU.

A champion of child injury prevention, Dr. Bachani is also leading efforts to integrate innovative mobile health approaches to child injury prevention.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit launched in 2008 as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention. Since its inception, JH-IIRU has been at the forefront of global injury prevention studies and looks to continue its excellence in research and practice for years to come.

An alum from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Bachani earned his PhD from the School in 2011 and his MHS in 2008.

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