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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: oman

On March 5, 2014, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) will formally launch “Improving Trauma Care Systems to Reduce the Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in the Sultanate of Oman,” with a signing ceremony in Muscat.

The project will assess the trauma systems in order to improve hospital and pre-hospital care. The first stages of the project will engage members of the Omani government and The Research Council (TRC) as well as potential stakeholders and collaborators, such as the Ministry of Health and academic institutions such Sultan Qaboos University.

In February, JH-IIRU team members Amber Mehmood, Kent Stevens and Katharine Allen visited several hospitals, including the Royal Hospital, the Armed Forces Hospital, Khoula Hospital Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Sohaar Hospital and Nizwa Hospital for potential collaborations.

JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder will participate in the signing ceremony, which will also include H.E. Dr. Hilal Al Hinai, Secretary General of The Research Council; Dr. Saif Al Hiddabi, member of the steering committee of the national road safety program; and Dr. Talal Al Belushi, board member Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA)

Next steps for the project will include both quantitative and qualitative assessment of various components of trauma care in Oman, training workshops for clinical and research capacity building in trauma/injury prevention and pilot testing hospital based trauma registries.

Katharine Allen, a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a valued research assistant for the International Injury Research Unit, was asked to present her latest work during a Global Health Council meeting in Washington, DC this week. Her project delved into how a small country’s health care system made seemingly remarkable progress in a very short amount of time.

Ms. Allen, the recipient of a Fulbright grant, spent seven months in the Sultanate of Oman studying its health system. It was founded in 1972, yet was ranked #1 in efficiency by the World Health Organization in its 2000 report. In less than 40 years, the mortality rate for children under age 5 fell from 181 per 1,000 live births to 11.1. Life expectancy rose from 49.3 to 74.3 years (between 1970 and 2005). And the national number of hospitals surged from two to 58.

Ms. Allen’s research determined that the root cause for Oman’s extraordinary improvements in health care can be traced primarily to its use of five-year plans, clearly defined goals and measurable benchmarks. However, according to Allen, the real test now lies in how this system of development will perform through the coming decades.

The International Injury Research Unit applauds the work of Ms. Allen and looks forward to continuing its support of innovative research projects around the world.

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