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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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JH-IIRU faculty member, Kavi Bhalla, along with associates from the Small Arms Survey and the South African Research Council, among others, published a paper in the November 2012 issue of Small Arms Survey. The article, “Tracking National Homicide Rates” analyzes the regional availability and quality of death registration data for estimating the national instance of homicides.

Because violent deaths make up a substantial proportion of global mortality and morbidity, the availability of high-quality homicide estimates from the health sector can aid the process of validating crime data. This kind of substantiated information carries significant importance when encouraging decision-makers to prioritize violence prevention in national health policy.

However, the quality of death registration data can vary substantially among countries, so it is important to test certain aspects of its quality. It is important for researchers to validate official statistics of reported crimes by comparing them with estimates calculated using alternate sources. The results of applying such quality tests to global death registration data are outlined in the Issue Brief.

To access the full article, click here:

To learn more about the Small Arms Survey, a public source of information on small arms and armed violence from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, click here:

JH-IIRU team members, including director Adnan Hyder, associate directors Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, Kent Stevens, Leon Robertson Faculty Development Chair Kavi Bhalla and research program coordinator Jeffrey Lunnen, will be traveling to New Zealand for the 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion.  This biennial meeting will bring together the leading scientists, researchers and academics from all over the world in an effort to strengthen the field of injury prevention and safety promotion.

The JH-IIRU team will be busy this year, both before and during the conference. JH-IIRU had more than 20 abstracts accepted, for oral and poster presentations, and Drs. Bachani and Stevens will host workshops, one on evaluating road safety interventions and the other on trauma care systems in low- and middle-income countries, respectively. 

In addition, our colleagues at the Road Traffic Injury Research Network (RTIRN) will be hosting a workshop on road safety interventions from September 30th – October 1. For additional information, click here:

Check in with the team on Facebook ( and Twitter ( this week for updates and news from the conference.

For more information on sessions, click here:

For more information about the International Injury Research Unit, please contact

For more information about Safety 2012, please visit the conference website

The Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is delighted to welcome Dr. Kavi Bhalla as the newest Assistant Professor and Leon Robertson Faculty Development Chair. With this appointment, the Department of International Health will continue to strengthen our commitment to injury prevention, as Dr. Bhalla will be an integral member of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention.

As a research scientist in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Bhalla brings to the Bloomberg School a solid background in injury epidemiology and burden of injury estimation in information-poor settings. He co-leads the injury expert group of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 project. Dr Bhalla obtained his bachelor of technology in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, and in 2001, he received a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University in New York.  From 2001-2004, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics where his work focused on the biomechanics of injuries in car-pedestrian crashes.

Dr. Bhalla’s research interests are closely aligned with JH-IIRU, and include the health impact of transportation policies, with a focus on prevention of road traffic injuries in developing countries. His experience in international road safety, burden of disease analysis, and injury biomechanics will be an asset not only to the Health Systems program, in which JH-IIRU resides, but also to the entire department.

The Leon Robertson chair was endowed to support the career development of an assistant or associate professor in the Department of International Health whose principal focus relates to the field of injury prevention by providing substantial funding for a period of three years, after which a new recipient will be identified.

K Bhalla
Dr. Kavi Bhalla

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