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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Leadership, Faculty Travel to Brazil for Road Safety Meetings

On September 17, 2018, leadership and faculty from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will travel to Brazil to participate in critical road safety meetings with local policymakers and academic collaborators.

Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, PhD, and Assistant Scientist Dr. Andres Vecino-Ortiz, MD, PhD, will represent JH-IIRU as they visit both Sao Paulo and Fortaleza to promote existing work and discuss future opportunities.

On September 18, they’ll attend a press conference with the Secretary of Transport who will share highlights of the annual report, introducing data from the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).

The Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety is a five-year, $125 million effort aimed at reducing the burden of global traffic injuries and fatalities and focuses on nine low-and middle-income countries’ 10 cities, including both Sao Paulo and Fortaleza.

“We’re honored to be in attendance of this week’s meetings to highlight the life-saving work being implemented here in Brazil,” said Dr. Bachani. “To see the progress on the ground and recognize the great strides by our partners through this initiative, it’s been a real pleasure. And we’re grateful to be supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies to strengthen these proven interventions.”

Then, on September 20, the team will meet with University of Fortaleza officials to discuss future partnerships on research and training opportunities in road safety.

“This is a great opportunity for both institutions to find ways to strengthen our research and teaching collaboration network around the road safety field,” said Dr. Vecino-Ortiz. “Fortaleza is a city that has made outstanding progress improving road safety conditions. This partnership could also be an opportunity for Brazilians and citizen abroad to learn more about what catalyzed Fortaleza’s success.”

JH-IIRU Publishes Paper Highlighting Need to Improve Road Safety in BRICS Countries

The middle-income countries of Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa are collectively known as BRICS and have all recently experienced rapid and considerable economic growth as well as substantial political and social change.

The rapid developments in these countries has led to an increased number of vehicles and an increased complexity of traffic mix which, along with an infrastructure and law enforcement that are struggling to keep pace, appear to be key factors in increasing the number of road traffic injuries (RTIs), both fatal and non-fatal. The BRICS countries already account for approximately 20% of world’s deaths from RTIs and associated economic losses (which are estimated at 1-3% of the countries’ gross domestic products); this number is only expected to increase unless investments in road safety are made.

Recently, JH-IIRU team members, director Adnan Hyder and research assistant Andres Vecino-Ortiz, published, “BRICS: Opportunities to improve road safety” in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, which examines the relationship between economic growth and road traffic injuries, presents evidence on the current status of road traffic injuries and recommends improvement of road safety monitoring and evaluation.

Their research finds that in order to improve road safety, the five countries must invest in system-wide road safety interventions as well as collect more reliable data in order to track changes in more detail, increase law enforcement and research capacity.   

Read more here.

JH-IIRU Team Members Publish Paper on Life Expectancy in Brazil

The burden of road traffic crashes is significant in Brazil, which has one of the highest road traffic mortality rates of any country in the Americas.
In a recent publication, “Impact of Road Traffic Deaths on Expected Years of Life Lost and Reduction in Life Expectancy in Brazil,” JH-IIRU faculty, including associate director, Aruna Chandran, and senior technical advisor, David Bishai, as well as colleagues from Universidade Federal do Rio Grand do Sul, calculate years of life lost and the resulting reduction in life expectancy as a result of road traffic deaths in order to better characterize the full extent of the burden of road traffic deaths.

The research indicates that road traffic deaths in Brazil account for more than 1.5 million life-years lost, with 80% occurring among males. The team also discovered that road traffic crashes reduce at-birth life expectancy in Brazilians by approximately 9 months for males and 2 months for females.  The authors also show how the years of life lost could be reduced if the different geographic regions in Brazil improved their road safety statistics to match those of the best-performing region.

With road traffic crashes responsible for nearly 1.3 million deaths globally each year (a number that is expected to increase by 65% by 2020 if no interventions are made), illustrating the years of life lost and the resulting reduction in life expectancy, as well as the potential for reducing the road mortality rate, is vital to support for the need for the continued implementation of evidence-based road safety interventions in Brazil.

“Impact of Road Traffic Deaths on Expected Years of Life Lost and Reduction in Life Expectancy in Brazil” will appear in the upcoming edition of Demography.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more information on the Road Safety in 10 Countries Project (RS-10) click here.

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Associate Director Publishes New Paper Drinking and Driving Disparities in North and South America

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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