The Johns Hopkins-Afghanistan-Pakistan International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training (JHU-AfPak-ICTIRT) Program for 2016-2021 will extend the regional and scholarly reach of previous Johns Hopkins-Pakistan ICTIRT programs in which trauma and injury research capacity at Aga Khan University (AKU) and Khyber Medical University (KMU) in Pakistan was developed through a mix of long-term (master's-level) and short-term (workshops) injury research training at AKU. Having trained 24 professionals at the master's level, supported the development of data systems and tools, and created a center for injury and trauma research at AKU, we now propose to expand and extend our maturing research training enterprise to meet specific needs for research leadership, advanced training, and international linkages to meet regional needs in western Asia. The overall goal of JHU-AfPak ICTIRT is to strengthen research capacity on trauma and injuries in Afghanistan and Pakistan through an innovative model of sustainable North-South-South capacity development. Our approach will involve four institutions as partners: JHU, AKU, Aga Khan University Programs in Afghanistan (AKU-PA) based at the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul, Afghanistan (FMIC), and the Afghan Public Health Institute (APHI). We will using US expertise to further strengthen Pakistani institutions' capacity for doctoral-level research training, enhance injury research capacity in Afghanistan (which bears an exceptionally high burden of trauma), promote a sustainable research enterprise in western Asia, and enable regional dissemination of research evidence to influence policy and investments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Specific aims are (1) to develop a core group of trauma and injury-focused researchers at APHI, strengthening research expertise at a key institution in one of the most impoverished and injury-prone regions of the world; (2) to create the first doctoral training program in injury research at AKU, promoting continuity and quality in-depth injury research and the academic growth needed to create sustainable academic leadership at AKU; (3) to generate relevant research within the training program around key regional injury priorities that will inform national policy decisions in Afghanistan and Pakistan around (i) evaluation of hospital-based and system-wide interventions, (ii) child injuries and trauma, and (iii) implementation science methods and approaches to injury prevention and control; and (4) to establish a Regional Policy Forum connecting injury researchers with the Ministries of Health and WHO for an annual policy dialogue on injury and trauma in western Asia, developing researchers' capacity to influence policy. We intend to adapt the injury research focus of our previous ICTRT programs to more demanding doctoral-level training and extend it to Afghanistan using a regional model. We will work to create a sustainable platform for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and donors to plan for interventions designed to prevent and control trauma and injury in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed Johns Hopkins-Afghanistan-Pakistan International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training (JHU-AfPak-ICTIRT) Program will extend capacity-building in injury research training, leadership, regional policy dialogue, and international linkages to the maturing injury research enterprise now based at Aga Khan University in Pakistan to two leading health institutions in Afghanistan, where the burden of trauma and injury is very high. To promote a sustainable research enterprise in western Asia and enable regional dissemination of research evidence to influence health policy and investments related to trauma and injury, we will build on the existing injury research expertise at AKU to develop the first doctoral-level program in injury and trauma research to serve Pakistan and the region, and develop the capacity of our research trainees to influence policy through an annual research policy forum involving the Ministries of Health and WHO for dialogue on trauma and injury policy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-P (50)R)
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Levintova, Marya
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
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