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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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On December 13-14, 2018, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Research Associate Isaac Botchey led a monitoring and evaluation workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as part of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).

More than 30 participants were in attendance and were given the opportunity to conduct roadside observational data collection, analyze data, and develop action plans.

“We believe that building local capacity is essential for a country to achieve its road safety objectives,” said Botchey. “The success we had here in Ethiopia will go a long way in reducing the number of lives lost to road traffic accidents.”

The workshop addressed a pair of sustainable development goals, outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Goal 3, Target 3.6: By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  • Goal 11, Target 11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

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Workshop participants are seen here conducting roadside observational data collection in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On October 10-12, 2018, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit team members participated in a series of meetings at the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) Partners Meeting, held at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York City.

The gathering invited partners of the BIGRS consortium to connect and hear from one another on project updates and research and intervention highlights from around the world. Partners—including Vital Strategies, Global Road Safety Partnership, World Bank, and World Health Organization—joined together with JH-IIRU for the three-day event.

Michal Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies offered welcoming remarks on Wednesday, October 10, before introductions from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Kelly Henning and Kelly Larson and brief highlights from local city officials who shared success stories as results of the consortium work.

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani then took the podium to provide a status report on seven rounds of observational studies that he and his team led across the 10 BIGRS cities: Fortaleza and Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Bandung, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Addis Ababa, Ethopia; Accra, Ghana; Mumbai, India; and Shanghai, China.

“The work conducted by our team during this second phase of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety program has generated such positive results across a number of risk factors,” said Dr. Bachani. “To present our work alongside partners from the consortium who are on the ground implementing these interventions, it’s a real opportunity for continued in the field of road safety.”

Later in the week, Dr. Bachani joined Global Road Safety Partnership program manager Judy Fleiter for a presentation on the Global Road Safety Leadership Course. Through five offerings, the course has certified more than 300 participants from 50 different countries. It was also announced during the presentation that the next regional offering will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the spring of 2019.

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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit team members join alongside Bloomberg Philanthropies officials and BIGRS consortium partners.

On October 3-4, 2018, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) leadership attended the 26th meeting of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Abdul Bachani, director of JH-IIRU represented the Unit for the meeting, held biannually to discuss global road safety issues. In the fall convention, the UNRSC team shared updates on the United Nations road safety strategy and discussed current and future activities of the UNRSC project groups, including road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response.

“The latest meeting of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, once again helped to advance strategy and reinforce capacity development for an issue as critically important as road safety,” said Dr. Bachani, attending his first meeting as director of JH-IIRU. “We’re grateful for the opportunity for this team of collaborators to meet in person and re-engage on such essential topics within the field.”

During the meeting, UNRSC officials also announced details for the 5th UN Global Road Safety Week, which will be held on May 6-12, 2019 with the theme “Leadership for Road Safety.”

In addition to membership with the UNRSC, Dr. Bachani and JH-IIRU are currently working with a consortium of partners to improve road safety in 10 low- and middle-income countries through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety.​

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.”

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) hosted the closing ceremony and reception for participants, staff, and guests of the 2018 Global Road Safety Leadership Course at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

The 60+ participants from 22 countries assembled in Sheldon Hall before hearing from JH-IIRU and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) leadership share welcoming remarks. JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and GRSP’s Judy Fleiter were among the presenters.

Next, former JH-IIRU director Dr. Adnan Hyder spoke, encouraging this offering’s participants to take advantage of their opportunity. Dr. Hyder also thanked his colleagues and partners throughout the Global Road Safety Leadership Course experience.

“This has been a great pleasure for me,” said Dr. Hyder. “I want to deeply thank Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dr. Kelly Henning, and Kelly Larson. This has been a great pleasure for me and I look forward to seeing how you all can change the world."

Following Dr. Hyder’s remarks, participant Nuananong Pankumhang of Thailand took to the podium to speak on behalf of the participant body and provide her perspective from the two week experience.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, GRSP’s Blaise Murphet invited each participant on stage to accept their certificates of completion and shake the hands of both Fleiter and Dr. Hyder. Participants, staff, and guests then joined together in Feinstone Hall for the closing reception.

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Thailand's Nuananong Pankumhang speaks on behalf of the 2018 GRSLC participants at the course closing ceremony on August 3, 2018 in Baltimore.

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