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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


Date: Sep 2013

JH-IIRU Welcomes Newest Faculty Member

Please welcome the newest JH-IIRU faculty member, Dr. Amber Mehmood. Dr. Mehmood,  a trauma surgeon from Aga Khan University (AKU), Pakistan, recently joined the unit as Research Associate.  She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU and has worked extensively on injury prevention and emergency medical services.

While here, Dr. Mehmood will help develop the Injury Unit's portfolio on trauma care in several countries. She brings special expertise in trauma registry development. Amber is not only clinically qualified but also has been a Fogarty/NIH Fellow in the past with us.

 Please join the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit in welcoming her. 

Collaborators from the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh Visit JH-IIRU

On September 18, Drs. AKM Fazlur Rahman and Animesh Biswas from the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) visited JH-IIRU.  Drs. Rahman and Biswas are currently working with JH-IIRU  faculty member Kunle Alonge, as well as project coordinators, Shirin Wadhwaniya and Siran He and director, Adnan Hyder, on a project that aims to reduce the shocking number of childhood deaths from drowning in the country.

As part of the visit, Dr. Rahman gave a lecture in which he discussed the state of morbidity and mortality in Bangladesh and the risk factors for injuries and fatalities, as well as the challenges of developing research capacity in the country.

Dr. Rahman discussed the epidemic of child mortality in Bangladesh, where drowning is the single largest killer of children 1-4 years old, and 22 children between the ages of 5-9 years old die each day, with 60% due to drowning.

The CIPRB was established in 2005 to address this neglected public health issue in Bangladesh and has become one of the world’s leading non-profit research organizations working to prevent injuries in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

At the conclusion of the presentation, Dr. Biswas shared some of his award-winning photographs showing  images of at-risk children as well as pedestrians and drivers.

To learn more about the CIPRB, visit the website at

Focus on Road Traffic Injuries in Brazil: Selections from the Traffic Injury Prevention Special Issue

Vulnerable road users (VRUs) are defined as slow-moving, exposed and/or unprotected road users and are often at a higher risk of injury when involved in a crash. VRUs traditionally include pedestrians, motorcycles and non-motorized cyclists. While Brazil’s road traffic mortality rate has been shown to be significantly higher than surrounding countries Chile and Argentina, little information has been published regarding VRU fatalities in the country.

In the published paper, “Road Traffic Deaths in Brazil: Rising Trends in Pedestrian and Motorcycle Occupant Deaths,” a team of researchers, including JH-IIRU team members Aruna Chandran and David Bishai and colleagues from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Vida No Transito Evaluation Team, examined the pattern of road traffic deaths disaggregated by VRU categories with the use of the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s mortality database.

The researchers found that VRUs are increasingly contributing to the proportion of road traffic fatalities in Brazil, with elderly pedestrians at a particularly high risk and motorcycle fatalities on a rapid increase. Understanding the epidemiology of road traffic deaths in all road user categories is essential to allow for more specific targeting of intervention programs, thus potentially saving lives.

As part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, in 2012, JH-IIRU published “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention. This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

You can access the full article along with the entire special issue here:

To find out more about JH-IIRU and road safety, contact us at

JH-IIRU Director Publishes Commentary on Injuries and Trauma in Pakistan

In Pakistan, injuries and trauma are among the top ten contributors to the burden of disease and disabilities. Other related factors, such as poverty, political instability, and natural disasters as well as the lack of legislation or enforcement of preventative measures contribute to the population’s susceptibility to injuries.

While police and hospital records provide some data on injuries, a recent commentary published in Public Health suggests that it is essential that the public health sector invest in injury prevention by creating a strong, evidence-based strategy, improving national polices, and collaborating with the private sector to promote injury prevention.

In “The challenges of injuries and trauma in Pakistan: An opportunity for concerted action,” JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder and Aga Khan University professor, Junaid Razzak, examine the current status of injury prevention and control in Pakistan  as well as the burden and the policy context for interventions in the country.

The commentary goes on to suggest that, because injury prevention and emergency care have been proven to be some of the most cost-effective interventions in the health sector, investing in such measures as traffic enforcement, speed control, helmets, child resistant containers and trained emergency personnel makes sense from both an economic and public health viewpoint.

Drs. Hyder and Razzak are directors of the JHU-Pakistan Fogarty International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program (JHU-Pakistan ICIRT). The goal of JHU-Pakistan ICIRT is to build a strong network of professionals and help develop sustainable research capacity on acute care of trauma and injuries and emergency medicine in Pakistan.  For additional information on the program, click here:

To access the paper, click here:

JH-IIRU Mourns the Passing of Dr. Richard Morrow

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit mourns the passing of Richard H. Morrow, Jr. MD, MPH. Dr. Morrow was a professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health. 

Morrow was a pioneer in international public health, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association (International Health Section) in 2006. Prior to working at Johns Hopkins, Morrow established programs in public health in Ghana and Uganda; was a professor at Harvard School of Public Health; and was director of epidemiology and field research for Tropical Disease Research and Training at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Morrow and his wife Helga moved to Baltimore in 1991.
"He was a man of both humility and brilliance," said JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder. "Intellectually, he was one of the most creative public health physicians in his field. Personally, he was a man of respect. He would treat everyone the same--a first-year student or the director of the World Health Organization."
Morrow obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Swarthmore College; his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine; and his master’s degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health.
He was instrumental in the establishment of programs in public health in developing countries, particularly in Uganda and Ghana. He had more than 50 years experience working with public health, quality assurance and health systems in countries around the world.  In his field, Morrow is widely known for his expertise in quality assurance management methods for developing countries; the development of burden of disease measures and their use in health sector reform; and epidemiologic methods for field trials in developing countries. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles on a wide range of public health topics.  In addition to his international public health work, Morrow served as a mentor to hundreds of students throughout the world.
Morrow, a lifetime learner and educator, will be remembered for his brilliance, grace, humor, curiosity, generosity and above all, his integrity. He believed in the goodness of mankind. His passion for social justice and the greater good of global public health will be carried on in the lives of his wife of 54 years, their four children, their nine grandchildren and his students all over the world. The footprint he left behind is deep and permanent.
A private memorial service for him will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Richard H. Morrow Scholarship Fund in Health Systems can be made to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Checks made payable to "Johns Hopkins University" should be mailed to: JHSPH Office of External Affairs, 615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD, 21205. Please specify "Morrow Scholarship Fund" in the memo section of the check. Contributions may also be made online at The Morrow family will be notified of all gifts.