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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

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.

On Monday, March 9, 2019, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) Director Dr. Abdul Bachani presented on the state of global road safety as part of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy’s fourth-term graduate seminar series. In the talk, titled “Global Road Safety: Why Haven’t We Done Better?,” Dr. Bachani outlined the international landscape of the road safety epidemic and the necessary next steps to make a difference.

Sponsored by JHCIRP and the Environmental Research Center, the fourth-term seminar series features presentations from a diverse group of experts across injury policy and research specialties.

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JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani presents on global road safety during a graduate seminar hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

On February 7, 2019, Dr. Abdul Bachani, director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, joined fellow public health leaders and decision makers from around the world for the first meeting of the high-level consultative committee for the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

Held in Paris, France, the meeting welcomed Dr. Bachani and other experts, including representatives from both the World Health Organization and the United Nations, along with leadership from Sweden – the host country for the 2020 Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

“Today’s meetings served as a great opportunity for this group to come together, review the current global road safety landscape, and prepare for next year’s conference,” said Dr. Bachani. “In establishing objectives for the conference and priorities for the coming years, we can build upon the momentum and success of our current decade of action on road safety.”

The 2020 Ministerial Conference on Road Safety will take place on June 5, 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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JH-IIRU Director Dr. Abdul Bachani and fellow committee members join together to discuss next year's Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

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