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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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Keyword: children

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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Dr. Adnan Hyder, director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, and Jeffrey Lunnen, an intern with the Unit who focuses on women's studies and child injuries, recently released a paper that discusses how an increased focus on injury prevention can reduce child mortality around the world.

Approximately 830,000 children die every year as a result of injuries like road traffic injuries, poisoning, falls, burns and drowning. Globally, injuries are the leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 19. The paper, entitled, “Reduction of childhood mortality through millennium development goal 4,” points out that, among 67 countries with high child mortality, only 10 are on track to meet the millennium development goal related to reducing these deaths.

Dr. Hyder and Lunnen maintain that, given what we know about the problem, the lack of attention to childhood injuries is surprising. Injury prevention and control interventions are not only effective, but also cost-effective. For more information and to read the full text, please visit the British Medical Journal (BMJ). If you have any questions about the work of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, please contact us.

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