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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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Date: Jan 2013

On Friday, January 18, 2013, Dr. Flavio Pechansky, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Federal University of Rio Grand do Sul and Director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research in Brazil, visited the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU).

Dr. Pechansky is one of JH-IIRU’s lead collaborators on the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10) in  Brazil, and has, in that capacity, contributed to several scientific papers, including, “Why Don’t Northern American Solutions to Drinking and Driving Work in Southern America?” which appeared in Addiction, and “Road Traffic Deaths in Brazil: Rising Trends in Pedestrian and Motorcycle Occupant Deaths,” which appeared in the special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention in 2012. 

His connections to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health extend beyond his collaborations with JH-IIRU.  From 1993 to 1994, Dr. Pechansky was a Humphrey Fellow at the Bloomberg School, focusing on substance abuse policy, treatment and research.  In 2003, he established the Porto Alegre Center for Drug Abuse Studies in order to train young investigators in drug abuse and addiction research.

Dr Pechansky
Dr. Flavio Pechansky

Recently, a consortium of seven partners led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Seattle and including Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and WHO released the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010).

This study, a systematic and comprehensive assessment of data on global disease, injuries and risk over two decades was published in the Lancet. It consists of seven articles, each containing a wealth of data on different diseases and represents a collaboration of 486 scientists from 302 institutions in 50 countries.

One of the main findings from GBD 2010 are that huge gaps remain the progress of public health for some regions of the world. For example, while fewer people are dying from infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria, deaths from road traffic injuries have increased by almost half. 

The study also recognizes the increasing burden of all types of disability, specifically from trauma, and its strain on populations.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit is dedicated to identifying effective solutions to the growing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income populations, influencing public policy and practice and advancing the field of injury prevention throughout the world. The Unit recognizes the findings from GBD 2010, renews our commitment to work on health priorities for populations around the world and calls on those in the health and research communities to do the same.

You can access the GBD 2010, which has been published in a special issue of the Lancet, here:

Unintentional injuries are a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially among children. Each year, more than 875,000 children die from preventable injuries, with millions more injured or permanently disabled.  These injuries disproportionately affect children in low- and middle-income countries.  While significant progress has been made over the last several decades to understand the epidemiology of injuries in children, implementing effective solutions remains a global challenge.

Recently, members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), along with colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO), published a study that estimates between 8,000 and 80,000 lives could potentially be saved each year if certain injury prevention interventions are implemented.

In “Saving 1000 Children a Day: The Potential of Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention,” published in the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, JH-IIRU faculty members worked with colleagues in the WHO’s Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability to estimate the total number of children’s lives that could be potentially saved worldwide through the implementation of interventions that have been shown to be effective.

The results of the team’s extensive literature review and analysis of existing interventions suggests that there might be tremendous benefits—up to 1000 children per day—that may be realized through enhanced coverage of existing interventions which have already been tried and tested.

To find out more about this paper, visit

To learn more about JH-IIRU, please contact us at

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The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) is pleased to announce that associate director, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, is a 2012 Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health faculty pilot grant recipient.

The grant, entitled, “Understanding the long-term health, social, and economic impact of injuries: A pilot study using e-Health technologies in Malaysia” seeks to develop novel methods to understanding the immediate and long-term health, social, and economic impact of injuries. The project, which includes JH-IIRU colleagues, associate director Kent Stevens and senior technical advisor, David Bishai, as well as collaborators from Perdana University and Universiti Putra Malaysia, has three specific objectives.

First, the project seeks to develop and pilot-test a electronic e-tool to examine the long-term health (prevalence, severity and duration of disability), social, and economic impact of traumatic non-fatal injuries; second, researchers aim to develop and implement an e-data collection and monitoring module using the new tool for capturing traumatic injuries and following individuals over time, for use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); and finally, the study will document the burden of traumatic non-fatal injuries in Kajang, Malaysia.

Findings from the proposed work will lead to the development of a multi-country pilot of the newly developed methods in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

According to the Center for Global Health, the primary purpose of the Faculty Grants is to strengthen the winners' abilities to secure extramural funding. This year, twenty-five applicants competed for the grants, and eight faculty members received awards to enable and support their proposed global health research projects. 

This is the sixth year the Center for Global Health has offered the grant program. All funded projects relate to some aspect of global health.

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