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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: vietnam

On November 11-14, 2019, faculty and students from the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) were on the ground in Vietnam for a series of workshops and presentations designed towards sustainable capacity development for injury prevention in the region, share research findings, and convene with collaborators and other experts.

“This trip was a fitting representation of the multidisciplinary work we conduct at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit,” said Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, who was joined by Associate Director Dr. Qingfeng Li, as well as post-doctoral fellow Dr. Eric Thuo, and PhD student Niloufer Taber. “In just four days, our team traveled across Vietnam to work closely with students, researchers, and government officials and cover a variety of injury subjects, including road safety, trauma, drowning prevention, and more.”

Kicking off the trip, the team joined collaborators from the Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH) at a Fogarty International Center-National Institutes of Health-sponsored training on literature review and analysis for injury prevention research. Dr. Cuong Pham, a JH-IIRU collaborator and director of HUPH’s Centre for Injury Prevention and Policy Research (CIPPR), co-led a lecture on road injury and drowning prevention research with Drs. Bachani and Li before Taber facilitated a workshop on scientific literature findings and reviews.

“It's always a pleasure working together with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit,” said Dr. Pham. “The strength of our collaboration allows us to expand our collective reach in the region and beyond. Looking ahead, we’re eager to build on our collaborations with future partnership opportunities.”

The following day in Hanoi, Dr. Bachani and the team joined global experts from the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, and HUPH, for the 3rd National Injury Conference in Vietnam, which sought to find long-term solutions to reduce the national burden of injury. In the grand meeting, Dr. Bachani presented on evidence-based policy advocacy and the team supported poster presentations from fellows in the JHU-Hanoi Trauma and Injury Research Program.

On November 13, as part of a post-conference event, local government officials and healthcare providers heard from Dr. Bachani who presented on recommendations for the health sector on injury and drowning prevention and control.

On the final day of the trip, Drs. Li and Pham co-led a dissemination workshop for the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) on measurement and evaluation. Dr. Li presented on the Unit’s work in Ho Chi Minh City over eight rounds of road safety evaluations and provided evidence-based recommendations before leading a discussion on the results and further opportunities for support.

Each year – according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018 – 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads. Another 20-50 million sustain non-fatal injuries, and among 15-29 year-olds road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the leading cause of death globally.

Statistics such as these fuel our work here at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit to work tirelessly within the road safety field and strive to reduce the burden of RTIs around the world.

As we conclude another phase working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and international partners, we can reflect on our time working across 10 cities and 10 countries to reduce non-fatal and fatal RTIs and impact key risk factors.

  1. Understand your data sources
    When our team was in Vietnam, studying mortality due to RTIs, we had a number of secondary data sources at our disposal and each provided us with different information. From police and hospital data, to national surveys and commune level vital registration information, we were able to draw diverse insights on everything from injury and fatality rates to crash frequencies and details.

    Such is the case for road safety data around the world: to ensure the full story, it’s important to gather from multiple sources and understand the value that each has.
     
  2. Repeated measurements are useful in monitoring trends and identifying focus areas
    As we learned when we studied helmet use, speeding, restraint use, and drink driving in these cities and countries, repeated rounds of measurement are important to identify patterns and trends; they can help with identification of emerging issues as well as highlight areas of programmatic success.

    If we hadn’t looked at multiple rounds in Bangkok, for example, we wouldn’t have as clearly been able to conclude that females had a significantly lower rate of helmet use, or to focus on passengers, weekends, and evening/night-time enforcement.
     
  3. Mixed methods approach necessary to understand underlying factors
    To truly paint accurate road safety pictures, we utilized a combination of both quantitative and qualitative studies. And in doing so, this mixed-methods approach provided a clearer understanding of factors underlying the observed trends or outcomes than if we implemented a more one-dimensional focus.

    While conducting KAP roadside interviews in two Kenyan towns, we analyzed nearly 5,000 respondents’ answers to questions on the top factors related to the decision to speed, as well as the proportion that knew the speed limit at the part of the road. These analyses were helpful in assessing each towns’ road safety climate. Complementing them, however, were the insightful interviews that provided a more detailed commentary on the situation.
     
  4. Coordinated efforts necessary for sustained improvement
    It takes a village to oversee continued progress, which we learned throughout our work, including during drink-driving observations in Addis Ababa.

    Assessing the drink-driving rate in the Ethiopian city over more than three years, for example, we could cross-reference critical points of partner efforts such as mass media campaigns and enforcement. In doing so, we learned the significant impact of each strategy and, in tandem with each other, the overall value provided to the community.
     
  5. External activities do have an impact
    Sometimes, independent and uncontrollable events and activities can become mechanisms for change, too.

    During our time in Cambodia, for example, we tracked helmet wearing rates among drivers and pinpointed several newsworthy dates that triggered an impact. From the floods in Kandal and Kampong Speu, to the national elections, and even the funeral of a former king, the scope and visibility of enforcement in the region became catalysts for behavior change, both positive and negative.
     
  6. You can’t do it alone!
    Through the collaboration with multidisciplinary partners, messages can be amplified and the reach can be widened.

    Studying information sharing across stakeholders in Colombia, we were able to glean the true potential of campaigns when working in larger networks and increasing capacity development. As we mapped, our network of report sharing between local stakeholders, such as Universidad de Los Andes and Universidad de Antioquia, as well as other organizations including iRAP, World Bank, Vital Strategies, and World Resource Institute, we saw a greater impact and effect on our stakeholders, ranging from the media and general public, to the Bogota Traffic Police and other city government agencies.

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.

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

On January 15-16, 2018, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) organized its second workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam as part of the Johns Hopkins University-Hanoi School of Public Health Trauma and Injury Research Program (JHU-Hanoi-TRIP).

The workshop, which was held in collaboration with Hanoi University of Public Health, offered more than a dozen public health graduate students and junior researchers the opportunity to develop research capacity in analyzing injury data in order to address the burden of injuries in Vietnam.

“We’re so pleased to see yet another successful workshop here in Hanoi,” said Qingfeng Li, PhD, project Co-Investigator and assistant scientist with JH-IIRU. “Last June, we organized our first workshop and sought to provide a basic knowledge of injury prevention and data collection. Now, through our second workshop, we’ve gone further with advanced discussions, data analysis, and presentations. Our ultimate aim is to strengthen the center of excellence for research on trauma and injuries for Hanoi.”

Director of the Injury Policy and Prevention Research (CIPPR) of Hanoi University of Public Health Dr. Cuong Pham co-facilitated the two-day workshops with Li. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Master of Public Health student Dr. Hal Inada helped deliver the workshop as part of his MPH practicum experience..

Through post-workshop evaluations, participants highly rated the sessions, noting the lectures and group work as substantially improving their knowledge in injury prevention and enhancing their skills in injury data analysis.

The workshops are the result of a five-year grant on injury training in Vietnam from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health that would build on existing work between the JH-IIRU in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Hanoi School of Public Health. The grant aims to address public health barriers such as the absence of comprehensive injury prevention training programs and relevant national data.

A third workshop is planned to be held later in 2018.

To learn more about the NIH Grant on Injury Training in Vietnam, please click here.

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JH-IIRU Assistant Scientist Qingfeng Li, PhD, poses with workshop participants.

Recently, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) was awarded a five-year grant on injury training in Vietnam from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will build on existing work between Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), USA and Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH), Vietnam – each with a great commitment to understanding the public health impact of trauma and injuries, experience and expertise in research, and a history of collaborative work. 

The D43 grant was awarded to JH-IIRU associate director, Dr. Abdulgafoor Bachani and JH-IIRU director, Dr. Adnan Hyder, who will serve as the principal investigators of this training program. Dr. Cuong Pham, director of the Center for Injury Policy and Prevention Research (CIPPR) at HSPH, will serve as the senior foreign investigator and co-investigator. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5 million people die globally each year from trauma, injuries and violence; with a disproportionate burden in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In Vietnam as well as the Southeast Asia region, local capacity for research on trauma and injuries is lacking. The absence of comprehensive training programs in the science of trauma and injury prevention and the lifelong social and economic impact within the larger public health sector in Vietnam is a serious impediment to analytic work in this field. In addition, the lack of objective national data on the health of individuals, the socio-economic welfare of households, and the Vietnamese society does not allow the magnitude of the burden to be appreciated. 

The grant will address both of these barriers through a collaborative program which will train human resources in Vietnam to generate the data and apply it for concerted action to reduce the growing burden of trauma and injuries. 

The overall goal of the Johns Hopkins University-Hanoi School of Public Health Trauma and Injury Research Program in Vietnam (JHU-Hanoi TRIP) is to strengthen research capacity on injury and trauma in Vietnam, as well as their long term health, economic and societal consequences through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development. The objectives of the Johns Hopkins University-Hanoi School of Public Health Trauma and Injury Research Program in Vietnam include: to implement a capacity development model to address a major gap in injury and trauma research, a leading health burden in Vietnam and establish mechanisms to ensure long term sustainability for a strong research enterprise in Vietnam; to use the expertise developed at HSPH in teaching public health to strengthen research capacity in Southeast Asia; and to further strengthen the existing injury center at HSPH to support such research.

To read more, please click here.

Vietnam Collaborators

JH-IIRU faculty visit collaborators at Hanoi University of Public Health

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