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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: trauma

Before this summer, Thanh Long Nguyen, Quynh Nga Pham, and Nguyen Thi Khanh Huyen had never been to North America. They’d previously never learned in a U.S. classroom. And they’d never had crab cakes.

The three students – all from Hanoi University of Public Health and in the 2-year Master of Public Health (MPH) focused on injury prevention – traveled from Vietnam to Baltimore for the Johns Hopkins University-Hanoi Trauma and Injury Research Program from June 6 to July 20 and picked up valuable professional and cultural experience from start to finish.

“The course has been very useful to learn about this work,” said Thanh Long Nguyen. “It’s bringing me a lot of new experience and is providing me with the opportunity to work with a leading university of public health, with a lot of experience for my career and studies.”

Funded through the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center, the program invites students from Hanoi to come to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and take “Applying Summary Measures of Population Health to Improve Health Systems” and “Hospital-Based Injury/Trauma Surveillance in Low and Middle-Income Countries,” led by Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Director Dr. Abdul Bachani , Assistant Scientist Dr. Andres Vecino-Ortiz, and Associate Director Dr. Amber Mehmood. The courses build upon the students’ MPH program and mentorship from the instructors allow for unique one-on-one guidance, designed specifically for international students.

“Dr. Bachani has a lot of experience in teaching international students,” said Nguyen Thi Khanh Huyen. “The way that he explains questions, he’s very easy to understand and easy to listen to. I was interested in his teaching. “Dr. [Mehmood] was very good, too. She could explain very clearly. If I had questions, she could explains and use a lot of examples and teach us more about realities in the United States.”

Outside of the classroom, the fellowship took students on a handful of site visits, including to PAHO-WHO headquarters to meet with Regional Advisor on Road Safety Dr. Eugenia Maria Rodrigues. The students also visited the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). Part of the formal curriculum, the site visits provide key exposure to organizations involved in injury prevention.

Over the duration of the program, they explored Baltimore and the surrounding region, too.

“We went to the Inner Harbor and the Baltimore Museum of Art. And my new favorite food now is crab cakes,” said Quynh Nga Pham. “We also visited more places in New York and Washington, which was a wonderful time.”

“Studying in the United States gives me a lot of experience in how to become better and improve myself,” added Pham. “I met a lot of experts and wonderful teachers in the injury field. They gave me lots of helpful advice about my thesis and how I can perform research in Vietnam.”

Before returning home, the fellows had the opportunity to share their final research concept presentations to JH-IIRU faculty and staff. The subjects of the students’ presentations covered their program research, which included adolescent suicide rates, mobile phone use observations, and pre-hospital emergency care.

“This course can bring you a lot of new experience,” said Thanh Long Nguyen. “You have an opportunity to work with a leading university of public health and it will give them a lot of experience for their career and studies. They’ll have an opportunity to work with a lot of experts and advisors.”

The program is intended to build capacity of injury research in Vietnam. Each year, candidates are selected into the MPH program, the highlight of which is the six-week study abroad component where fellows take a blend of injury specialty classes, develop research ideas, and visit select organizations involved in injury control and prevention.


Fellows from Hanoi University of Public Health participated in a six-week program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

On January 23-24, 2019, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Associate Director Dr. Amber Mehmood joined together with leaders from Hamad Medical Corporation to participate in workshops and progress meetings on critical research subjects, such as occupational injury prevention and road safety. 

Mehmood, along with Hamad Medical Corporation’s leadership team first led a writing workshop focusing on work-related injuries and the evaluation of injury data sources. The workshop, attended by staff of the Hamad Medical Corporation’s injury prevention unit, and hospital trauma surgery and emergency room staff, also covered data analysis regarding cost on injury and trauma care in the Hamad Trauma Center.

Drs. Ruben Peralta, Rafael Consunji, Aisha Abeid, Monira Mollazehi, Nazia Hirani, Tsoler Sekayen, and Cecilia Claudio were part of the core group representing different units of Hamad Medical Corporation.

The team then held progress meetings for a pair of JH-IIRU-related projects, Work-place-injury Unified Registry for Qatar (WURQ) and Young Kids in Safe Seats (Y-KISS).  Mehmood and the Hamad’s core group discussed the sustainability and continuing efforts for work-related injury prevention and control in Qatar, as well as the interventions directed toward awareness and education of labor workforce in Qatar.

Both WURQ and Y-KISS are funded by the Qatar National Research Fund and began in 2015, respectively. The Y-KISS team set out to develop a child car seats program for new parents in Qatar, and determine the effectiveness of a child car seat program for new parents using a randomized study design. Through WURQ, JH-IIRU and its partners set out to understand the epidemiology of workplace injuries in Qatar, develop and pilot test an occupational injury registry for the state, and engage relevant stakeholders to consider occupational injuries as a key public health issue.


Associate Director Dr. Amber Mehmood speaks at the 4th Annual AKU Surgical Conference in Karachi, Pakistan.

More than three out of 10 injury-related hospital admissions in Oman were children under 15 years of age, according to a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit.

Study findings came from data from Oman’s Khoula and Nizwa Hospitals—and looked at injury characteristics, such as external cause of injury, place of injury, care at scene, and injury severity score.

Published November 12 in BMJ Paediatrics Open, the paper was led by JH-IIRU Associate Director Amber Mehmood.

“Through this research, we’ve found that an alarming number of injuries were of vulnerable populations, such as children under 15 years old,” said Mehmood. “These injuries—coming from falls, home injuries, and burns—comprise totals that highlight the need for age-targeted interventions and injury control programs.”

To review the epidemiology and risk factors for childhood injuries, the team assessed data from November 2014 and April 2015 of patients with a diagnosis of injury and trauma admitted to the hospital, as well as those who had trauma team activation in the emergency department.

Out of more than 2,600 cases, nearly 800 were of children, ages 15 and younger. The evaluation found that more than one-third were children 1-5 years of age. Two-thirds of all cases were males. More than half of all the cases were from transport injuries and the most common anatomical injury among all children brought into the hospital were head injuries. It was also found that children with head, face and neck injuries had higher odds of undergoing surgical treatment.

“Childhood injuries in Oman: retrospective review of a multicentre trauma registry data” was written by Amber Mehmood, Priyanka Agrawal, Katharine A Allen, Ammar Al-Kashmiri, Ali Al-Busaidi, and Adnan Ali Hyder.

The research was supported by The Research Council of Oman through grant #TRC/SRG/RS/13/003.

To read the full paper via open access, please click here.

On September 26-28, 2018, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Associate Director Dr. Amber Mehmood and Doctoral Candidate Nukhba Zia presented at the Annual Meeting of AAST & Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery and the 4th World Trauma Congress in San Diego, California.

Dr. Mehmood presented on the determinants of emergency department discharge dispositions of patients with traumatic brain injury. Zia presented on the causes and outcomes of unintentional and intentional traumatic brain injuries in Uganda.

“Presenting at the 4th World Trauma Congress and interacting with surgery and trauma practitioners and researchers from around the world was such a valuable opportunity,” said Dr. Mehmood. “We hope this will be the first of many opportunities to present at the conference and we’re so thankful for study support by the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.”

The work stems from the Unit’s project, Traumatic Brain Injury Across the Lifespan in Uganda (TBI-Uganda), a tablet-based hospital registry implemented at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda and a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Makerere University School of Public Health, and Mulago Hospital.


Zia and Mehmood represented the Unit for the first time at the 4th World Trauma Congress from September 26-29, 2018 in San Diego, California.

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) scientists Drs. Qingfeng Li and Nino Paichadze conducted a workshop on advanced analytical methods for injury data on June 11 and 12, 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Held as a product of the Johns Hopkins University-Hanoi School of Public Health Trauma and Injury Research Program in Vietnam (JHU-Hanoi-TRIP), the sessions welcomed about 50 participants from Hanoi Preventive Medicine Center, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi School of Public Health (HUPH), among other institutions.

“This training workshop went quite well,” said JH-IIRU Associate Director Qingfeng Li, PhD, MHS. “Through our partnership with the Hanoi School of Public Health, we’ve been able to lead critical trauma and injury training sessions to passionate students and public health practitioners in Vietnam.”

Following opening remarks from Dr. Cuong Pham, director of the Center for Injury Policy and Prevention Research (CIPPR) at Hanoi University of Public Health, Dr. Li kicked off the training with a presentation on the principles of injury prevention before Dr. Paichadze held sessions on the risk factors for trauma and injuries, and data sources for trauma and injuries.

On the workshop’s second day, participants were engaged in group exercises to analyze sample injury data using statistical methods introduced by Dr. Li on day one. Each group made presentation on their work and received feedback from Dr. Li.

After the workshop Dr. Paichadze led a seminar on Information and communications technology (ICT) approaches for capacity building in public health.

JHU-Hanoi-TRIP spawned from a five-year grant on injury training in Vietnam from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant builds on existing collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and HUPH and addresses global injury barriers through a collaborative training program. The program’s overall goal is to strengthen research capacity on injury and trauma in Vietnam, as well as its long-term health, economic, and societal consequences through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development.

To learn more about the program and grant, please click here.


Instructors and participants join together for a picture at the conclusion of the workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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