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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


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New Data on Distracted Driving in Mexico

Recently, members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), including associate director, Aruna Chandran and research program coordinator, Jeffrey C. Lunnen,  contributed to “Distracted Driving: Mobile Phone use while Driving in Three Mexican Cities,” a paper published in Injury Prevention.

The study, possibly the first reporting the prevalence of mobile phone use while driving (MPUWD), was conducted as part of the Road Safety in 10 Countries (RS-10) project by JH-IIRU colleagues from Centro de Investigación en Sistemas de Salud del, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, and Fundación Entornos, A.C and examinesd the prevalence of mobile phone talking and texting among drivers in three cities, Guadalajara-Zapopan, León and Cuernavaca. This publication represents the kind of collaborative effort that is a hallmark of the RS-10 project.

Currently, both Guadalajara-Zapopan and León have legislation prohibiting mobile phone use while driving (MPUWD), but it’s unclear how strict enforcement is.

To read the entire paper, click here:

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Welcomes Dr. Leilei Duan as Visiting Scholar

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) is pleased to welcome Dr. Leilei Duan, MD, MS, as visiting scholar in the Department of International Health, Health Systems program. Dr. Duan is currently the division director of the National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention at the

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).

While here, Dr. Duan will work in collaboration with JH-IIRU faculty and staff on the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10) and an injury surveillance system project in China. During this time, she will also receive advanced training on evaluation and statistical analysis.

Before joining the China CDC, Dr. Duan was a physician at Number One Hospital in QinHuang Dao, Hebei Province. She received her MS at Peking Union Medical College School of Public Health.

The JH-IIRU looks forward to a successful collaboration with Dr. Duan. 

For additional information on the RS-10 project, click

To read more about our road traffic injury work in China, click

Focus on Road Traffic Injuries in China: Selections from the Traffic Injury Prevention Special Issue

As part of the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10), in 2012, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) published “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention. This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

In China, though road traffic injuries have become a leading cause of death, the reported numbers of road traffic deaths are often inconsistent. JH-IIRU team members, including  associate director, Sai Ma and senior technical advisor, David Bishai, along with colleagues from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), addressed this issue in their publication, “Road Traffic Injury in China: A Review of National Data Sources.”  The team reviewed and compared four national-level data sources: The Ministry of Health-Vital Registration (MOH-VR) system, Chinese CDC-Disease Surveillance Points (DSP), Chinese CDC-National Injury Surveillance System (NISS) and police reports. The team found that, while each system had a number of strengths, no one system provided a complete epidemiological profile of road traffic injuries in China, and some information, such as long-term disability or hospitalization data, is not measured at all. The study does, however, establish a framework for researchers and policy makers to strengthen the existing surveillance systems in order to better track road traffic injuries. This, in turn, will help to develop evidence-based long-term road safety interventions

For more information on the Road Safety in 10 Countries project, visit our website:

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JH-IRU Strengthens RS-10 In-Country Collaborations with Training and Capacity Development

With an estimated 1.2 million people dying in each year, road traffic crashes are a serious, but sadly, often overlooked disease burden around the world. This burden is more severe in low- and middle-income countries, where road traffic fatality rates are double what they are in developed countries.
To address this burgeoning trend, in 2010 and with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) joined a consortium of six partners in the
Road Safety in 10 Countries Project (RS-10), a five-year initiative dedicated to reducing the burden of road traffic injuries in ten low- and middle-income countries by evaluating and implementing road safety solutions in places where interventions are needed the most.
The goal of the project is simple: save lives by providing evidence for stronger road safety interventions around the world. But the IIRU team can’t accomplish this goal alone. In order to be effective, they depend on local personnel in each country to not only help develop strong ties within each targeted community, but to conduct evaluations and collect data at each site. To that end, the JH-IIRU team has created a training and capacity development component of the RS-10 project.
Since the project’s inception, and through a program built on a country-specific mission, a sound public health approach, and scientific rigor, the JH-IIRU addresses the basic sciences of public health, a social science component, and health systems analysis with a special focus on ethical and cultural issues. JH-IIRU has developed and employed a concerted, three-pronged strategy for capacity development comprising of 1) Learning by doing 2) Courses and 3) Workshops.
Led by JH-IIRU Associate Director, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, in the first two years of the program these three approaches have yielded impressive results and continue to do so. In each country, JH‐IIRU collaborates with local research groups or universities to facilitate data collection for monitoring and evaluation. In this learning by doing approach, the JH-IIRU staff trains local collaborators for data collection through activities such as observational studies, road-side interviews, database creation and data analysis, to name a few.  

Cambodia _obs_parts
Participants learning how to conduct observational studies in Cambodia.

Helmet use observational study.

The important results of this work are showcased in the special issue of the journal
Traffic Injury Prevention.

Building on existing coursework at JHSPH, JH-IIRU has also developed and modified courses specific to the global burden of road traffic injuries. Working to create live (in-person) and online versions of many of their offerings, the team offers a sequence of four courses to comprise an innovative program in Road Traffic Injury Prevention and Control. These courses combine the expertise at JH-IIRU with the specific local needs of participating countries. Free access to course materials for two of the courses via the OpenCourseWare (OCW) system at JHU is already
available, while the remaining two classes will be made available shortly. This long-distance learning option makes effective training for health and allied professionals in each country possible.
Finally, since 2010, the JH-IIRU has conducted workshops in each of the 10 countries, which have been tailored to meet local needs. More than 445 individuals from each country have been trained in topics ranging from data collection and management, to evaluation methods for road safety, to handing of data for injury surveillance. Recently, members of the JH-IIRU team hosted workshops in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The National Workshop on Evaluation Methods for Road Safety focused on topics such as evaluation designs, data collection methodologies, database creation and management, data analysis, and dissemination of findings, while at the same time provided an opportunity for cross-country collaboration.
In an article which appeared in Cambodia’s Koh Sentepheap newspaper, attendee H.E. Mr. Peou Maly, Deputy Secretary General of General Secretariat of the National Road Safety Committee, applauded the workshop, saying he firmly believed it would contribute to efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia in reducing the number of road crashes.

Participants register for a training workshop.

In Kenya, JHU-IIRU held a training workshop in March to train Naivasha district hospital data collectors and hospital administrators on the data collection for the trauma registry.  

An example of a trauma registry form, Naivasha Hospital

And in Russia, JHU-IIRU held workshops in February and March 2012.  Seventy professors and data collectors from Ivanovo University were trained to conduct both observational studies and roadside surveys on seatbelt use and speeding during a two- day workshop.  A three-day workshop to address data gaps in surveillance and registry systems was attended by 40 representatives from the Ivanovo Ministry of Health, Lipetsk Ministry of Health, Ivanovo Regional Accident and Trauma Centre, and Lipetsk Regional Accident and Trauma Centre.  Members of the Lipetsk Regional Accident and Emergency Trauma Centre indicated that the data collection approach they learned will help them not only to build their own data collection system for collecting and reporting the data within the RS-10 project, but also help to improve their own data collection processes in their daily work.  It is vital, attendees said, to have their daily data collection work verified with police in order to ensure the quality of the collected data.

Attendees at a workshop in Ivanovo, Russia  

In addition to these in-country workshops, JH‐IIRU has also facilitated cross-country learning through a special session at the Safety 2010 World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in London, and a collaborators workshop in Baltimore in October 2011. These workshops made possible important cross‐country discussions on data collection strategies, standardizing methods across countries, and challenges as well as planning for more effective evaluation strategy in each country. Based on the success of these sessions, JH-IIRU is exploring hosting a scientific session on RS‐10 at theWorld Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in New Zealand, 2012.

Training and capacity development is a vital part of the RS-10 project that will help ensure in-country collaborators, partners and researchers are an integral and effective part of the projects efforts to reduce the growing burden of road traffic injuries worldwide.
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Bloomberg Philanthropies in India to Promote Reducing Road Traffic Injuries and Tobacco Use

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) is currently working with a consortium of partners on the Road Safety in 10 Countries Project (RS-10), an initiative that aims to improve road safety in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The project, which is funded with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Health Organization, is evaluating and implementing road safety solutions where they are needed most.

Dr. Kelly Henning, head of global health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, recently visited India, one of the 10 targeted countries, to promote two important programs: The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco and the Bloomberg Global Road Safety Program. The Bloomberg Global Road Safety Program is a five-year, $125 million effort to reverse global deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes. Program partners, including JH-IIRU, are supporting countries like India to strengthen and implement proven solutions through key legislation on motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, drinking and driving, and speed; improving sustainable urban transport; incorporating safety in road infrastructure projects; and, monitoring and evaluating traffic-related deaths, injuries and policy effectiveness.

To read the full article, click here:

To learn more about the Global Road Safety Program, please visit

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