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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


Keyword: south africa

JH-IIRU Publishes Paper Highlighting Need to Improve Road Safety in BRICS Countries

The middle-income countries of Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa are collectively known as BRICS and have all recently experienced rapid and considerable economic growth as well as substantial political and social change.

The rapid developments in these countries has led to an increased number of vehicles and an increased complexity of traffic mix which, along with an infrastructure and law enforcement that are struggling to keep pace, appear to be key factors in increasing the number of road traffic injuries (RTIs), both fatal and non-fatal. The BRICS countries already account for approximately 20% of world’s deaths from RTIs and associated economic losses (which are estimated at 1-3% of the countries’ gross domestic products); this number is only expected to increase unless investments in road safety are made.

Recently, JH-IIRU team members, director Adnan Hyder and research assistant Andres Vecino-Ortiz, published, “BRICS: Opportunities to improve road safety” in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, which examines the relationship between economic growth and road traffic injuries, presents evidence on the current status of road traffic injuries and recommends improvement of road safety monitoring and evaluation.

Their research finds that in order to improve road safety, the five countries must invest in system-wide road safety interventions as well as collect more reliable data in order to track changes in more detail, increase law enforcement and research capacity.   

Read more here.

IIRU and South Africa's Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital (RCCH) Kick Off a Two-Part Study to Explore Red Cross's Hospital-Based Pediatric Trauma Registry

The International Injury Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa recently began a study to explore the design, implementation, and utilization of Red Cross's pediatric trauma registry. Since 1991, Red Cross's Trauma Unit has developed and maintained a computerized database of all injured children under the age of 13 years that presented to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Through the establishment of this trauma registry, now nearly two decades ago, and the development of a dedicated trauma unit for children (the only one of its kind in Africa) and Childsafe South Africa, a non-governmental organization committed to the prevention of childhood trauma, the Red Cross Children's Hospital has been fundamental in pioneering safety concerns for children in South Africa.

IIRU has partnered with RCCH to learn from their twenty year experience of collecting and applying data to better understand childhood injury. Dr. Hadley Herbert, a post-doctoral fellow at IIRU is coordinating the study, and Prof. Sebastian van As, MD, PhD (, Director of the Red Cross's Trauma Unit, is directing it in South Africa. The first phase will quantitatively evaluate trends in the hospital's incidence of child injury over a ten year period from 1995 to 2005. The study's second phase will consist of qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and focus groups to explore how the registry has impacted injury prevention programming. Through these methods, this study will explore how trauma registries can better inform cost-effective and sustainable pediatric trauma care improvements. By working with Red Cross Hospital as a hub for pediatric trauma, findings from this study have the potential to be applied to other trauma registries in low and middle income countries. For more information, please contact Dr. Herbert (


Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa