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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: Apr 2014

More than 800,000 child deaths per year can be attributed to unintentional injuries and more than 95% of both intentional and unintentional child deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the five most common unintentional injuries among children are from road traffic injuries, falls, burns, drowning and poisoning. And while reductions in child injury mortality have been observed in several high income countries (HICs) as a result of evidence-based programs, there are few studies providing data from LMICs.

As a response to the WHO’s call for better data collection on child injury, the Global Childhood Unintentional Injury Surveillance (GCUIS) study was initiated. This study, conducted by members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), including research associated Siran He, research program coordinator, Jeffrey C. Lunnen, faculty member Prasanthi Puvanachandra and director, Adnan Hyder, collected standardized child injury data from emergency departments at sites in five countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Malaysia and Pakistan. The study intended to determine the epidemiology of the five major childhood unintentional injuries in five major emergency departments in urban sites; to explore potential risk factors and determinants of injury severity and outcomes; and to summarize the characteristics of injuries sustained in homes.

The results of this study can be found in the recently published paper, “Global Childhood Unintentional Injury Study: Multisite Surveillance Data,” in the March 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

This study was supported in part by the World Health Organization, Department of Violence and Injury Prevention.

Access the full article here.

Several students working with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit had the opportunity to present their work during the 2014 Hopkins Global Health Day poster session on April 10.

Among them, Julia Zhang presented her Global Health Established Field Placement (GHEFP) work on preventing childhood injuries in the home in Malaysia and received a blue ribbon for her contribution. Julia is a PhD candidate in International Health and is working with JH-IIRU associate director, Abdul Bachani, to address the knowledge gap regarding childhood injuries at home in order to address the growing burden of child injuries.

Julia Poster
(L to R): GHEFP recipients Allaa Mageid, Julia Zhang with JH-IIRU associate director, Abdul Bachani

Other Global Health Established Field Placement grant recipients included Christina Meyer, an undergraduate in Public Health Studies, who worked as a research assistant on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program in Vietnam.  Jason Lambden, MSPH student in International Health, was also a part of the Global Road Safety Program, spending his internship in Brazil. 

Christina poster
GHEFP recipient Christina Meyer and Abdul Bachani

International Health PhD candidate Veena Sriram presented her work on pre-hospital emergency medical services in Pakistan as part of the Johns Hopkins University-Pakistan Fogarty International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program (JHU-PAK ICTIRT).  Brian Dougen, another MSPH student in International Health, was part of the Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries, and Disability in Uganda.

Veena poster
GHEFP recipient Veena Sriram

This goal of global health week is to showcase Johns Hopkins students' global health work and sustainability.

The Global Health Established Field Placement (GHEFP) program was established in the spring of 2010 to enhance the recruitment of students into global health research and practice careers by providing them the means to work with global health mentors and to attain international cross-cultural field experience.


Last week, JH-IIRU director Adnan Hyder and post doctoral fellow Nino Paichadze participated in the United Nations Global Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which has been working to support the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). On April 10, 2014 the UNGA adopted a resolution on "Improving global road safety," sponsored by the Government of the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by dozens of other countries. The resolution’s key decisions include encouraging member states and the international community to consider road safety in the post-2015 development agenda and inviting the World Health Organization (WHO) to continue monitoring the progress of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The UNGA also announced the Third UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015, which will focus on the theme of improving road safety for children.  Also included was the announcement that the Government of Brazil will host the Second Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in 2015.

This resolution also urges those member states that have not yet done so to develop national plans in line with the Global Plan for the Decade of Action; nominate national focal points for the Decade of Action; enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors; strengthen emergency trauma care systems; improve the safety of vehicles and roads; and enhance the quality of road safety statistics.

Of concern to the general assembly was the unacceptably high number of road traffic deaths, estimated at 1.24 million in 2010 and the fact that less than 10%of the world's population is covered by adequate laws that address key risk factors like drinking and driving, speeding and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints.  Also under discussion was that globally, half of all road traffic deaths involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists, and that some developing countries are failing to provide the policies and infrastructure needed to better protect these vulnerable road users. 

 The resolution acknowledged a number of important international efforts on road safety, with specific mention of initiatives such as WHO's Global status report on road safety 2013; the International Road Transport Union's standards for vocational training of road safety professionals; the Commission for Global Road Safety's report entitled Safe roads for all: a post-2015 agenda for health and development; the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility; the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims; and various efforts of the UN regional commissions, national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and NGOs, including victims' organizations and youth organizations. 

JH-IIRU strongly supports the UN General Assembly’s resolution on improving road safety, and looks forward to working with members to continue to promote effective international cooperation on road safety issues.

For more information, click here.  

Updated April 11, 2014

This week, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will participate in the 19th meeting of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) in New York City.  The overall goal of the collaboration is to strengthen and facilitate international cooperation and coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to improve road safety as well as to implement UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions and the recommendations of the World Report thereby supporting country programs.

The biannual meetings, which rotate locations internationally call together not only UNRSC members, but also national partners from around the world, including representatives from regional and local ministries of health and transport.

The most current meeting, taking place April 8-9, 2014, will include the Minister of Transport, Argentina and the Deputy Minister of Interior, Russian Federation as keynote speakers. The meeting will have five objectives: 1). to provide an update of the Decade of Action; 2). to discuss implementation of the UNGA resolution; 3). to discuss progress and future global road safety initiatives; 4). to discuss current and future activities of the project groups; 5). to provide updates on UNRSC partner activities and review membership requests.


The 19th meeting of the UNRSC concluded with much discussion centering around the past progress and future of global road safety initiatives, including updates on the monitoring and evaluation of the Decade of Action by JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder. Also up for discussion: The challenges of police enforcement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including lack of equipment.

At the close of the meeting, with WHO Director of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, Etienne Krug declaring that more needs to be done, more than 40 indicators were being finalized to continue to monitor progress of the Decade of Action. 

Opening Panel
Panel discussion featuring FIA President, Jean Todt; Michele Yeoh of Make Roads Safe; Health Ministers from Argentina and Brazil; and Etienne Krug, WHO

Hyder 2014 UNRSC
JH-IIRU Director Adnan Hyder updates UNRSC members on monitoring and evaluation of the Decade of Action

Krug 2014
Etienne Krug, Director, Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, WHO, reviews progress of Decade of Action

Gayle DiPietro, GRSP, emphasizing the importance of enforcement

About the UNRSC, courtesy of the World Health Organization (  

In April 2004, the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES58/289 on “Improving global road safety” invited WHO, working in close cooperation with the United Nations regional commissions, to act as coordinator on road safety issues across the United Nations system. The World Health Assembly accepted this invitation in May 2004 and WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which holds biannual meetings to discuss global road safety issues.

The Collaboration is an informal consultative mechanism whose members are committed to road safety efforts and in particular to the implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention. The goal of the Collaboration is to facilitate international cooperation and to strengthen global and regional coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to implement UN General Assembly Resolutions and the recommendations of the World report thereby supporting country programs.

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