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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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In a newly published article in Addiction, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit associate director Aruna Chandran, MD, MPH, along with Flavio Pechansky, MD, PhD from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, examine the disparity that exists in northern and southern American countries with regard to drinking and driving prevention strategies.
In “Why don’t northern American solutions to drinking and driving work in southern America?,” the researchers—using Brazil as a case example for southern American countries—explore why such a disparity exists.  The paper highlights examples and experiences from the North American countries of the United States and Canada—where DWI trends have been known for decades and the association between alcohol consumption and increased road traffic crashes has been well-established—in comparison with Brazil, a country that is still struggling to provide baseline data.
This lack of objective, systematically collected alcohol-associated driving data limits both the ability to implement and enforce specific prevention strategies and determine if proven prevention efforts from North America can be transferred effectively to the south.
In the paper, the Dr. Chandran and her colleagues in Brazil proposed a three-pronged approach to address the north-south gap: 1) systematic collection of data on road traffic crash/injury/death rates as well as risk factor data 2) passage of laws (within a framework that prevents legal circumventing of punishment) that requires blood alcohol concentration testing compliance and 3) stipulation of appropriate training and availability of proper equipment to the police along with vigilant enforcement.
It is the researchers' hope that lessons learned from North American countries can be applied to lower-performing countries in South America.
To access the full article, click here:
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As part of the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10), the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) has been tasked with training and capacity development of local personnel in each of the ten countries. To that end, members of the JH-IIRU team, including associate directors Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, PhD, MHS and Aruna Chandran, MD, MPH, will host the “National Workshop on Evaluation Methods for Road Safety” in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  This workshop, held from March 21-23, 2012, will provide an overview of monitoring and evaluation for national road safety programs, including evaluation designs for road safety and data collection options.  The workshop will be attended by Drs. Pham V Cuong and La Ngoc Quang, faculty from the Hanoi School of Public Health and Dr. Ricardo Pérez Núñez from the National Institute of Public Health, Mexico (Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública). Additionally, representatives from the National and Provincial Road Safety Committees in Cambodia, local NGOs, researchers, and others will be in attendance.

These skill- and knowledge-based on-site workshops for in-country collaborators, partners and researchers are part of the three-pronged capacity development strategy, which also includes training  and  mentoring  during  the  course  of  monitoring  and  evaluation (M&E) work in each of the countries (learning by doing); and development and offering of courses on public health methods for road safety.

Several targeted workshops have been conducted in each of the ten countries and have been tailored to meet local needs. In the first two years of the RS-10 project, more than 250 individuals across the 10 countries have been trained through these workshops.      
For more information on the Road Safety in 10 Countries project, which is funded with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, contact us at, or visit our website: 

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, together with researchers from the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, recently conducted a workshop on road safety evaluation principles in Mexico.

Held in Guadalajara on August 8 and 9, 2011, the workshop attracted 20 participants from Leon and Guadalajara, which are the two locations in Mexico for the Road Safety in 10 Countries (RS-10) project. Two individuals from the World Health Organization country office also participated.

Dr. Aruna Chandran, associate director of monitoring and evaluation for the Unit, co-led the workshop which consisted of an overview of road safety evaluation principles, data collection and analysis, and evaluation study design. Participants were encouraged to assess the road traffic data collection methods in their own cities and discuss ways to improve them. It was an opportunity for the participants to learn the importance of evaluation, and to interact directly with key implementers of the RS-10 project from both cities, as well as the RS-10 evaluation team.

For more information about the Unit's work on the RS-10 project or other road safety projects, please contact us.


Dr. Aruna Chandran, associate director of monitoring and evaluation for the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, leads a session at the road safety evaluation workshop in Mexico on August 8, 2011.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit recently released a new framework for continued action in the prevention of child violence. The paper, entitled, “Prevention of Violence against Children: A Framework for Progress in Low and Middle-income Countries,” was authored by Unit leaders Aruna Chandran, Prasanthi Puvanachandra and Dr. Adnan Hyder.

Violence against children has historically been the least studied area of child injuries. Although previous work on the subject has highlighted the need for more data, services and reforms, the authors indicate that the current agenda remains limited. Therefore, they offer a revised approach which they suggest should focus on four domains: national surveillance, intervention research, legislation and policy, and partnerships and collaboration.

Although some progress has been made, and the prevention of violence against children is rising as a public health priority, taking this new approach will be critical in continuing to protect vulnerable children from further injuries and death. The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit is committed to this important effort and welcomes partnerships in the area of child violence prevention.

To read the full study, please click here. To contact the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, please visit our contact page.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit established a strong presence during the Safety 2010 World Conference in London last week. Co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, this international event is considered the major scientific platform for sharing ideas and furthering knowledge about violence and injury prevention. According to the WHO, it draws more than 1,200 of the world’s leading injury researchers, practitioners and advocates from more than 130 countries.

Members of the International Injury Research Unit, including Dr. Adnan Hyder, Dr. Aruna Chandran, Dr. Prasanthi Puvanachandra and Dr. David Bishai participated in several sessions throughout the event, including a WHO pre-meeting entitled the “Third Global Meeting of Ministry of Health Focal Points for Violence and Injury Prevention.”

The team hosted a parallel session and workshop on September 22 which focused on the evaluation of road safety interventions in 10 countries. This heavily attended session featured presentations and discussion from leaders in international road safety including representatives from the WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in addition to the International Injury Research Unit’s own Dr. Hyder and Dr. Puvanachandra.

On September 24, Dr. Bishai of the International Injury Research Unit, along with Dr. Francesco Zamboni of the WHO, presented their research during a scientific session entitled “Road Transport Law and Policy.” Dr. Bishai discussed the politics of road safety projects and raised the aspiration that, despite political challenges, these projects can lead to the ascendance of road safety on national political agendas.

In addition, Dr. Hyder served as the chair for sessions hosted by the Road Traffic Injuries Research Network and also the WHO’s Mentor VIP program. The International Injury Research Unit further demonstrated results on several posters throughout the conference.

For more information about the International Injury Research Unit, please download our Safety 2010 brochure or contact

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