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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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Each year, the Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review (GEMLR) searches peer-reviewed and grey literature on emergency medicine to find the most important and upcoming research in the field.

This year, of the several thousand articles reviewed, “The cost of injury and trauma care in low- and middle-income countries: a review of economic evidence,” published in the journal Health Policy and Planning, was selected as one of the top global emergency medicine articles of 2013.

Written by JH-IIRU team members Hadley Wesson, associate director Abdul Bachani and director Adnan Hyder, as well as colleagues Nonkululeko Boikhutso and Karen J. Hofman, the paper suggests that while there is an urgent need to push injury prevention to the forefront of public health initiatives and to understand the costs associated with injury, there is a lack of injury-related economic evidence from LMICs. The paper goes on to summarize the body of economic evidence on injury in LMICs; 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 provide recommendations regarding economic evaluations in LMICs.

“We are delighted to have one of our publications selected by GEMLR this year,” said Hyder. “Emergency medicine, especially in low-income settings, is vitally important and we hope this distinction will help guide policy makers when prioritizing public health funding and initiatives.

Formed in 2005, GEMLR seeks encourage the development of the field of emergency medicine globally by providing clear and accessible scientific literature. The review searches thousands of peer-reviewed and grey literature, and selects those of the highest quality to illustrate best practices and encourage additional research in the field of global emergency medicine.

International travel is growing in popularity, especially to the Asia-Pacific and African regions. With increased travel to more low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), comes an increase in the risk of diseases and adverse health events. Travel medicine has made an effort to keep pace by making more immunizations and preventive medicine available, which in turn has changed the mortality and morbidity patterns of international travelers. While infectious diseases were previously the leading causes of adverse health for travelers, they are now 10 times more likely to die from injuries than infectious diseases.

Shirin Wadhwaniya, a JH-IIRU senior research assistant, recently published an editorial in the Journal of Travel Medicine. “Pre-Travel Consultation without Injury Prevention is Incomplete” stresses the importance of including injury prevention in pre-travel safety communications.

The editorial suggests that, because road traffic injuries are on the increase for travelers, clear and focused discussions on the risks of road travel and how they can be reduced should be an important component of pre-travel consultations.

Access the full article here:

Burns are a significant cause of mortality and disability in developing countries, especially in South Asia. Of the more than 300,000 burn fatalities worldwide annually, 90% occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). South Asian countries in particular bear a significant burden of this type of unintentional injury. Estimates of burn injuries in India are between 100,000 and 2 million annually; in Pakistan, burns are the second leading cause of disability and the 11th cause of death. In Sri Lanka, approximately 10,000 burn injuries and 100 deaths are reported annually.

While much has been done in high income countries (HICs) to prevent unintentional burns, including improving information-gathering systems to understand the epidemiology of burn-related injuries—which is fundamental in aiding preventative efforts—such strategies are lacking in many South Asian countries. Additionally, in South Asia, lack of advanced burn care facilities and trained professionals create further obstacles to preventing burn-related injuries.

Recently, a group of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, including JH-IIRU director Adnan Hyder, published the results of a systematic review of burn injuries in four South Asian countries: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This review provides an analysis of the trends in burn injuries, corroborates the findings of reviewers of burn injuries in other LMICs and indentifies appropriate target groups for intervention, as well as identifies gaps in the literature on burns in South Asia, and highlights the need for better information.

By examining the epidemiology of unintentional burns in South Asia, researchers can identify trends and gaps in information, which will in turn help to both identify appropriate target groups for intervention and identify the most appropriate kind of intervention.

“A Systematic Review of the Epidemiology of Unintentional Burn Injuries in South Asia” appears in the Journal of Public Health.  Find additional information here:

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