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Building Back Better with International Day of Disabled Persons 2020

Today is the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons, proclaimed by the United Nations first in 1992 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Disability is truly a global issue and about 15% of the world’s population—more than one billion people—live with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization.

The team at Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, including faculty, students, and staff, not only recognize this day of observance and the toll disability takes on so many people around the world, but work day in and day out to address and counter this global burden.

We know from our work and that of colleagues around the world, that disability not only affects the individual, but also has consequences (health, social, and economic) for family members, friends, and the community. In collaboration with partners in Cambodia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Vietnam, our team has worked to understand the long-term health, social and economic impact of disability on individuals, their caregivers, and families. Using a holistic sociological framework to account for the interrelatedness of family structures and economic opportunities, we sought to get insight on the impact of disability, as well as various adaptation and coping strategies employed by individuals and their families.

One limitation to addressing this issue is the lack of timely and reliable data to understand the needs of individuals with disability and the barriers they face in accessing services – health and other services for day-to-day functioning. Our work in collaboration with partners in Uganda focused on adapting and implementing standardized disability assessment tools at the community level to better measure disability as an outcome in children and adults. It has provided evidence on the magnitude of the problem and its health and socio-economic impacts. This body of work focuses on approaches for generating data that can be used for policy and decision-making to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Through research, education, and practice, we’re working to contribute to a world inclusive of individuals with disabilities addressing key issues related to diversity and equity.

As we all strive on a global level to stay safe in the world of COVID-19 and support experts in their work to end this pandemic, we especially embrace this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities theme, “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.”

For more information and resources on disability and International Day of Disabled Persons, please see the list below:

· International Day of Persons with Disabilities
· International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020
· Commemorative Event for IDPD 2020: Action Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World
· United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy
· Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
· World Health Organization Overview of Disability
· World Health Organization Fact Sheets on Disability and health
· World Health Organization Disability Facts in Pictures

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Director Leads Panel at International Conference on Urban Health

On Wednesday, November 28, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit team members participated in a parallel session panel at the 15th International Conference on Urban Health in Kampala, Uganda.

Titled “Health systems for all: responding to the increasing burden of disability and its consequences,” the panel was chaired by JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and featured additional presentations including a session by JH-IIRU’s Nukhba Zia.

In addition to chairing the panel, Dr. Bachani kicked off the event with a presentation of his own, on strategies to address disability from a global perspective. He then introduced Medi Ssengooba, a disability activist and lawyer, who took the podium and spoke about experience living with disability in an urban setting.

Zia, a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, then presented on measurement approaches and understanding the burden and consequences of disability. Uganda Ministry of Health’s Dr. Stanley Bubikire wrapped up the panel with his presentation on addressing disability in Uganda.

The conference, organized by the International Society for Urban Health, runs through Friday, November 30. The theme for this year’s event is “Managing Urbanization for Health: A Priority for All Nations” and focuses on six critical sub-themes to be addressed: 1) the governance of complex systems; 2) culture and inclusivity; 3) disasters, epidemics, and the unexpected; 4) cities as economic engines; 5) safety, security, and justice; and 6) spiritual health in the city.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

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JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani takes the podium to present during the conference's panel in Kampala, Uganda.

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Participates in a Fogarty International Center Networking Meeting

On May 10-11, 2017, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) faculty, including Drs. Adnan Hyder, Abdul Bachani and Nino Paichadze together with colleagues from Makerere University School of Public Health, Drs. Olive Kobusingye and Milton Mutto, participated in a Fogarty International Center (FIC) Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) Networking Meeting in Rockville, MD. The goal of the meeting was to highlight the FIC grantees under the Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan Program. The meeting consisted of workshops, oral presentations and poster presentations from both researchers and trainees.

Dr. Hyder panel discussion

Dr. Hyder participates in a panel discussion 

On the first day of the two-day meeting, Dr. Hyder presented “Building Capacity for Injury Research: A Case Study from Uganda” to highlight the results and achievements of the Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injury and Disability in Uganda (Chronic TRIAD) Program. Following his presentation, Dr. Hyder participated in a panel discussion alongside Dr. Isabel Scarinci, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Dr. Gail Wyatt, University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Erausquin, University of South Florida and Dr. Kobusingye, Makerere University.  On the second day of the meeting, the Chronic TRIAD project team presented a poster.

The objectives of the meeting were to: provide a forum for both researchers and trainees to share their research findings through talks and posters; provide opportunities for investigators to network with each other and deepen the collective understanding of research capacity building at in-country sites and engage in thoughtful discussion about current and future work.

To read more about the Chronic TRIAD program, please click here.

Drs. Nino Paichadze, Abdul Bachani and Olive Kobusingye

Drs. Nino Paichadze, Abdul Bachani and Olive Kobusingye

Third Cohort of Chronic TRIAD Fellows Successfully Defend Theses and Graduate

The Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries and Disability in Uganda (JHU-MU Chronic TRIAD), is funded by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. Coordinated by the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the JHU-MU Chronic TRIAD supports four cohorts of long-term trainees.

In February, five fellows from our third cohort successfully defended their TRIAD-related dissertations and graduated from the program.

The JHU-MU Chronic TRIAD program aims to strengthen research capacity on the long-term health and economic consequences of trauma, injuries and disability across the lifespan in Uganda through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development.

The program is based on the close partnership between Johns Hopkins and Makerere University School of Public Health, two academic institutions with a strong commitment to understanding the long-term impact of trauma and injuries, experience in research, and a history of collaborative work.

Learn more about the program here.

Below are the fellows and their dissertation titles: 

  Chronic TRIAD Jennifer
 
Jennifer Namagembe successfully defended her dissertation, “Assessment of the nature of pre-hospital care provided to road traffic injury patients reporting to Mulago Hospital.”
 
  Chronic TRIAD fellow Claire
 
Claire Biribawa successfully defended her dissertation, “Alcohol intoxication among bodaboda drivers, related injuries and health costs at Mulago National Hospital.” 
 
 Chronic TRIAD Fellow Phoebe

Phoebe Alitubeera, a fellow from our supplementary training program on the intersection between Trauma/Disability and HIV in Uganda (JHU-MU supplementary grant), successfully defended her dissertation, “Utilization of post exposure prophylaxis among health workers following percutaneous injuries in public health facilities in Kampala Capital City.”

  Chronic TRIAD Arthur

Arthur Kiconco successfully defended his dissertation, “Determinants of occupational injuries among building construction workers in Kampala City, Uganda.” 

  Chronic TRIAD Lillian

Lilian Kauma, a fellow from our supplementary training program on the intersection between Trauma/Disability and HIV in Uganda (JHU-MU supplementary grant), successfully defended her dissertation, “HIV-related disabilities and utilization of rehabilitation services by people living with HIV receiving care at the Mulago Immune Suppresive Syndrome Clinic, Kampala, Uganda.” 

JH-IIRU Awarded NIH Grant to Enhance eCapacity in Uganda

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) was recently awarded a grant from the NIH Fogarty International Center as part of the Fogarty Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative.  The Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Electronic Trauma, Injuries and Disability (JHU-MU E-TRIAD) in Uganda will build on the partnership for research and capacity development established between the Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University to study Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries and Disability (Chronic TRIAD) Across the Lifespan in Uganda.

The project, co-led by JH-IIRU director Adnan Hyder and associate director Abdul Bachani, will build on Makerere University (MU) School of Public Health’s demonstrated interest in expanding its teaching and research focused on trauma, injuries and disability by strengthening capacity for information and communication technology (ICT)-supported research and training (e-capacity) at the university.  By training health professionals and academics with new tools to enhance the conduct of research on nationally relevant issues in trauma, injuries and disability, the institutions will work to create a sustainable platform for researchers, faculty, and staff to maintain and plan for further integration of e-capacity in training and research for global health at MU.

The long-term goal of the program is to establish a center at MU dedicated to the appropriate use of ICT in global health research and training.

Fogarty's Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative aims to support innovative research education programs to teach researchers at low and middle income country (LMIC) institutions the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into global health research and research training.

To find out more, click here