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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: road safety

Dr. Abdul Bachani, Director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), will be in Geneva, Switzerland on October 29-30, 2019 for the 28th UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) meeting. Dr. Bachani joins road safety experts and collaborators from around the world.

While in Geneva, members of the UNRSC will participate in critical conversations on global road safety and also prepare for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm, Sweden on February 19-20, 2020. A member of the High Level Consultative Committee, Dr. Bachani and JH-IIRU have been closely involved in preparations for the conference.

 “This week’s meeting here in Geneva is a precious opportunity to convene with colleagues dedicated to addressing the global road safety landscape,” said Dr. Bachani. “In this short amount of time, we aim to take significant steps forward within injury prevention as we approach future sustainable development goals and global performance targets.”

From September 8 to September 20, 2019, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit and Global Road Safety Partnership co-led a two-week training course on road safety in Baltimore, Maryland.

Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the course included more than 60 participants from 30 low- and middle-income countries around the world. Over the two weeks, participants and organizers -- including leadership, faculty, and staff from JH-IIRU -- worked to build leadership capacity to design, advocate for, and implement effective road safety programs and policies.

Across 10 days, the course invited JH-IIRU speakers and other multidisciplinary experts from across the globe to lead sessions on a variety of road safety issues, such as health economics, enforcement, health systems, and urban design. The group also had the opportunity to travel to New York to visit Bloomberg Philanthropies and Ruckersville, Virginia for a tour of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

On Friday, September 20, the course concluded with group marketplace presentations before a certificate ceremony and closing reception.

The entire course was highlighted with the hashtag #GRSLC2019 on Twitter. Daily photo albums of course sessions, trips, and special events are also available online via Facebook

Leadership and faculty from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), and international partners led a one-week road safety course on the campus of Universidade de Fortaleza (UNIFOR) from August 5-9, 2019. The course, “Implementing Effective Road Safety Programs: Translating evidence to practice for road safety,” invited more than 70 participants from 20+ different cities in Brazil to gain training on the most important aspects of road safety through theoretical and practical sessions tailored for the Brazilian context.

JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, along with core JH-IIRU faculty Dr. Andres Vecino Ortiz, and partners at the Global Road Safety Partnership and UNIFOR, based the course off of the twice-annual Global Road Safety Leadership Course (GRSLC), which builds leadership capacity to design, advocate for, and implement effective road safety programs and policies.

“This past week here in Fortaleza has demonstrated the investment the city and its local and regional leaders are making to improve road safety,” said Dr. Bachani. “The passion our Brazilian participants have in making their communities better, safer places is inspirational. We look forward to seeing this group apply lessons learned in the course in their day-to-day work.”

With sessions on everything from risk factors and leadership principles to successful cases of multisectoral action for road safety, the comprehensive curriculum sought to generate evidence-based skills and knowledge to the local and regional leaders in road safety, so they can improve design and policies in their own municipalities and departments.

Site visits – to such locations as roadside police checkpoints, bus rapid transit system, and local children’s hospital – provided participants with real-world applications of course content. Also, throughout the course, participants were divided into smaller cohorts for group work, before delivering final presentations at the conclusion of the course.

A number of GRSLC alumni reunited with course organizers. Luiza Amorim (GRSLC 2017), Omar Jacob (rGRSLC 2018), Dante Rosado (GRSLC2017), Flavio Cunto (GRSLC 2018), and Andre Correia (rGRSLC 2019), all led sessions during this offering, demonstrating the real impact that the Global Road Safety Leadership Course is having on creating leaders in road safety.

“It was marvelous,” said Correia, Enforcement Coordinator with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety in Fortaleza. “We got to share the same [road safety] problems, but even better, we looked for solutions together. We are in a globalized world, we need to find those solutions together.”

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JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani presents during the one-week road safety course in Fortaleza.

From May 20-24, 2019, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) team visited Gaborone for the inception of a new partnership with the MVA Fund and the National Road Safety Council in Botswana. The JH-IIRU team – led by Director Dr. Abdul Bachani – met with local officials, led a stakeholder engagement workshop, and agreed on a plan for the assessment.

“This week has been full of very productive and insightful meetings with key Botswanan policy and decision makers,” said JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani. “We were able to meet with so many individuals who are committed to making a difference in Botswana. Our assessment and subsequent recommendations will pave the way to continued success in saving lives here in Botswana.”

Over the course of the week, the JH-IIRU team met with representatives from national agencies, such as the Department of Road Transport and Safety, and the Ministry of Health, in addition to institutions such as the local Red Cross, University of Botswana, and local emergency medical service stations and trauma centres.

Following meeting with local officials, Dr. Bachani and his team led an official project launch and held a stakeholder engagement workshop, which included an introduction to the Botswana National Road Safety Strategy and related activities identified under the plan such as safer vehicles, safer roads and mobility, and post-crash care.

Through this promising new initiative, the JH-IIRU team will construct a comprehensive of road safety interventions that have been conducted in Botswana, and to evaluate their effectiveness as well as identify areas for improvement. This assessment is expected to inform the development of Botswana’s new national road safety strategy.

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Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and the JH-IIRU team spoke with officials from Botswana's Ministry of Health and Department of Road Transport and Safety, among other institutions, as they laid the groundwork in conducting their road safety assessment. 

On May 7-8, 2019, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) team members traveled to London to participate in a pair of meetings designed to discuss the adoption of a target to halve deaths and serious injuries from road crashes beyond 2020.

JH-IRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and Assistant Scientist Dr. Connie Hoe attended an international roundtable hosted by the Towards Zero Foundation to examine the current state of global road safety, as well as current and future sustainable development goals (SDGs). Among the existing SDGs, unanimously adopted in September 2015, target 3.6 aims to halve the number of global traffic deaths and injuries by 2020.

JH-IIRU Senior Technical Advisor Dr. Margie Peden led a discussion on setting future targets for serious injuries, while collaborator Jessica Truong, Vice President for Programmes of Toward Zero Foundation, concluded the roundtable with a conversation on selecting targets for 2030.

“It’s imperative that we continue to set and work towards sustainable development goals targeting road safety across the globe,” said Dr. Bachani. “As we approach 2020, we’re working to develop additional evidence-based recommendations to be applied by all UN Member States.”

The next day, on May 8, Drs. Bachani, Hoe, and Peden joined in the second meeting of the expert panel for the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative (CRSI), which officially launched this spring by HRH Prince Michael of Kent in an effort to raise the profile of road safety and encourage stronger action by the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries.

The team met with HRH Prince Michael of Kent and the other expert panel members as they drafted recommendations to be included in their upcoming report and agenda for road safety strategy.

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