Fogarty invests $10M in trauma, injury training

January / February 2017 | Volume 16, Issue 1

Bright orange flames surrounded by dark black smoke in a city street, buildings in background, people in foreground
Photo courtesy of Aga Khan University

Fogarty is supporting research training programs to
help address the burden of trauma and injury in
developing countries.

Death and disability from injury and trauma are global concerns that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To help tackle the problem, Fogarty is funding eight projects through its Global Injury and Trauma Research Training Program that will train LMIC investigators to research the most effective ways to prevent and treat injury and trauma. The grants total $10.3 million over 5 years.

More than 5 million people worldwide die each year from injuries resulting from traffic accidents, falls, violence and other causes, with most of the deaths occurring in LMICs, the WHO reports. Injuries are more prevalent in poorer areas than wealthier ones because of factors including less safe living, working and travel conditions, lack of focus on prevention and limited access to quality emergency care and rehabilitation services.

“Creating in-country experts who can help identify, develop and implement strategies to prevent and treat injury and trauma is key to reducing death and disability,” says Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. Fogarty and NIH partners have been supporting injury and trauma research training since 2005.

Six academic institutions in the U.S. and one in Ghana received awards in the latest round of funding. Together, their projects will strengthen research capacity in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Most of the grants are renewals that will be used to broaden existing programs, while three awards will fund new projects. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will launch the first NIH-funded injury research training program in Nigeria and Ethiopia, the most populous countries in sub-Saharan Africa with some of the highest injury rates in the world. Training courses will provide a combination of formal instruction and mentored research.

Another new award went to the University of Pennsylvania, which is collaborating with the University of Botswana and the Botswana Ministry of Health. Training will focus on two priorities for the country - community and domestic violence, and road traffic collisions. Independent investigators will be offered 2-year master’s programs, while clinicians, health administrations and criminal justice professionals will be offered short-term training as associate investigators.

In addition, Johns Hopkins University received a new grant to provide trauma and injury training in Vietnam that will focus on surveillance, community-based interventions and research on the long-term social and economic consequences. Injuries - especially road traffic injuries - are the fifth leading cause of premature death in the country, which has brought the issue to the forefront of the government’s agenda. Grantees will work with the Hanoi School of Public Health and aim to create a center of excellence for research on trauma and injuries at the institution.

Johns Hopkins University also received additional funding to strengthen a program that began in Pakistan. Grantees plan to develop a doctoral program for injury research in the country, as well as expand training efforts into Afghanistan.

A longtime collaboration between Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana and the University of Washington built research capacity at KNUST to the point that it will now lead the effort, with U.S. colleagues providing assistance. Grantees aim to develop short-, medium- and long-term training in the West African region and offer master’s and doctoral degrees.

The University of California, Los Angeles, working with the South African Research Consortium, will prepare investigators to conduct biobehavioral research to minimize the effects of community violence and intentional injuries, specifically depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Grantees hope to broaden their existing program to include neurobehavioral and intervention research. NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) is co-funding this effort.

The University of Iowa, which helped build a school of public health and an injury research unit in Romania, will now introduce research training to three other countries: Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. Former Romanian trainees will now become the trainers. Research will focus on acute care, road traffic safety, and violence against women and children.

The University of Maryland and Ain Shams University in Egypt will continue training health professionals in Egypt, Sudan and the Arab Middle East in the latest methodologies in trauma resuscitation, injury research and data collection. The program uses a combination of formal courses and mentored research.

2016 International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training grant awards

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