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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


Keyword: abdulgafoor m. bachani

JH-IIRU Team Examines Economic Costs of Injury Prevention in LMICs

More than 5 million deaths are caused by injuries globally each year, resulting in devastating social and economic costs. These costs are especially high in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where health systems are struggling to prioritize injuries as a significant health concern. In LMICs, the economic losses associated with road traffic injuries (RTIs) alone are estimated to be $100 billion annually.

Given the devastating extent of this burden, there is an urgent need to push injury prevention to the forefront of public health initiatives and to understand the costs associated with injury, yet there is a lack of injury-related economic evidence from LMICs.

This is the conclusion JH-IIRU team members, including Hadley KH Wesson and associate director, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, reached in their recent publication, “The cost of injury and trauma care in low- and middle-income countries: A review of economic evidence,” in the journal Health Policy and Planning.

The goals of the paper are to 1) summarize the body of economic evidence on injury in LMICs; 2) assess the quality of cost-effectiveness studies using standard methods to highlight the role of economic data as a tool for injury-prevention advocacy; and 3) to provide recommendations regarding economic evaluations in LMICs.

The study found that while there are a relatively significant number of studies exploring the costs of injuries or hospitalizations due to injury in LMICs, a small fraction were complete economic studies, making it difficult to generalize costs of injury at regional or global levels. Despite the study’s limitations, the economic burden of injury is unquestionable and low-cost interventions such as traffic enforcement, installation of speed bumps, motorcycle helmet legislation and drowning prevention programs, are possible with support and investment from stakeholders and policy-makers.

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JH-IIRU Team Members Publish Paper on Helmet Attitudes, Behaviors and Beliefs in Cambodia

The World Health Organization estimates that road traffic injuries (RTIs) account for approximately 1.2 million deaths annually around the globe, with the majority occurring in low- and middle-income countries. In countries like Cambodia, motorcycles are a common form of transportation. Motorcycle crashes are also the leading source of road traffic fatalities in the country.. However, helmet use in Cambodia remains relatively low, despite the fact that helmet-wearing is a proven injury prevention intervention.

In order to better understand the traffic safety culture in Cambodia, a group of researchers, including JH-IIRU associate director, Abdulgafoor Bachani, recently examined driver and passenger knowledge, attitude and beliefs regarding motorcycle helmets.

Several key findings from the study helped identify barriers to helmet-wearing, including gaps in road safety knowledge and ways to communicate the road safety message more effectively. For example, the study found that there is a need to increase the availability of high-quality, low cost helmets for children, while at the same time addressing the prevailing attitude that children are “too young” to need a helmet. The study also found that many motorcyclists believe helmets are only necessary when driving on highways or high speed motorways.

Results of this study were instrumental in informing the Cambodian Helmet Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) which was established by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation with support from the FIA Foundation as well as the World Bank, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.

“Motorcycle Helmet Attitudes, Behaviours and Beliefs Among Cambodians” appears in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion.

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JH-IIRU Team Publishes Paper Focusing on Child Injury Prevention Interventions

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.

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JH-IIRU Awarded Grant from the Center for Global Health

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.

JH-IIRU Team Members Return from Successful World Safety Conference in New Zealand

The JH-IIRU team recently returned from a busy week at Safety 2012, the 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in New Zealand, and by all accounts, it was a rousing success.

From their involvement in pre-conference meetings to the numerous posters and presentations, the team, which included JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder, associate directors Abdulgafoor M. Bachani and Kent Stevens, and research program coordinator, Jeffrey Lunnen, participated in nearly every aspect of the conference.

In total, the JH-IIRU team was well-represented with more than 20 abstracts accepted for oral and poster presentations, including JH-IIRU research program coordinator, Jeffrey C. Lunnen’s presentation on road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Guyana. Mr. Lunnen also participated in Distracted Driving: Mobile Phone Use While Driving in Three Mexican Cities presentation with colleagues from the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP) during the Transport, Distraction and Fatigue session.


JH-IIRU research program coordinator, Jeffrey C. Lunnen, giving his oral presentation on RTIs in Guyana.

The unit’s monitoring and evaluation efforts with the Road Safety in 10 Countries (RS-10) project was featured prominently during the conference. Dr. Bachani’s session on the first two years of the project, which was chaired by Dr. Etienne Krug of the World Health Organization (WHO), was attended by more than 100 conference participants. Dr. Manjul Joshipura from WHO and Dr. Ian Hughes, from the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) presented findings as well.


JH-IIRU associate director, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani presenting data during the workshop, “Evaluating Road Safety Interventions: Lessons Learnt from the First Two Years of A Multi-Country Approach”

Dr. Stevens led a well-attended workshop on trauma care in low- and middle-income countries, which also included presentations from Dr. Joshipura and Dr. Junaid Razzak from Aga Khan University.


JH-IIRU associate director, Kent Stevens leading the workshop “Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Trauma Care Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”

JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder, was busy as well. In addition to being a keynote speaker, Dr. Hyder chaired several sessions, including one on transportation, legislation and policy, which included a presentation by Dr. Bachani.


JH-IIRU Director, Adnan A. Hyder, chairing the concurrent session on Transportation, Legislation and Policy.

Additionally, Dr. Amber Mehmood, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health postdoctoral fellow working on trauma care for the JHU-Pakistan Fogarty International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program (JHU-Pakistan ICTIRT), was awarded best presentation for her abstract, Pilot Testing of Trauma Registry in a Single Tertiary Care Hospital of Pakistan: Results from Initial Data Analysis.


Amber Mehmood receiving her award for best presentation.

Overall, the JH-IIRU team felt the conference was informative and worthwhile, with an impressive interest in the unit’s injury prevention work.

Safety 2012 World Conference on Injury Prevention is a biennial meeting that brings together world leaders in scientists, researchers and academics from all over the world in an effort to strengthen the field of injury prevention and safety promotion.

Additional information on abstracts will be available here:

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