Indian and Australian experts join forces to address road traffic injuries

Indian and Australian health and road safety experts convened in Sydney, Australia this week to address the rising burden of road traffic injuries in India.

A high road traffic death rate is seen in many of the low and middle income countries including India. The cost of road traffic injury in India is estimated to be more than 322 billion rupees (AUD 8.1 billion).  Leading scientists from India and Australia met to discuss the issue and develop plans to reduce the burden of injury in both countries.

Professor Gururaj, head of the World Health Collaborating Centre on Injury in Bangalore, says that the seminar is a prime example of international collaboration working towards improving road traffic safety. “We are pleased to be working with Australian road safety researchers to extend the awareness of road safety and capacity for research on this important issue in India.

This partnership demonstrates a leading initiative between Australian and Indian Universities and research institutes, coming together to address important public health issues. It is expected that by raising the profile of the issue, and through this collaboration, opportunities for research in this field will be determined, which could translate to preventing and reducing injuries due to road traffic injuries”, he said.

Injury is a major contributor towards death and disability worldwide, and according to researchers at The George Institute in Sydney, around 90% of injury-related deaths occur in low and middle income countries such as India where there is great opportunity to improve the burden and causes of injury.

According to road safety expert Associate Professor Rebecca Ivers at The George Institute, research has shown that road traffic injury is causing a great health burden in India, “Many road injury deaths and injuries can be prevented. It is important that effective interventions, based on strong evidence, are developed to minimize the impact of injury. Our partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research provides a great opportunity to discuss how we can achieve services that can deliver care for and prevention of road safety injury in both countries”, she said.

This public seminar is a result of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Indian Council of Medical Research, The George Institute and the University of Sydney. The MOU was developed to facilitate collaboration between these bodies to develop ideas for joint research that would benefit both countries.

The seminar will be opened by Mr Amit Dasgupta, Indian Consul General, Sydney. Speakers include Professor Gururaj, Associate Professor Ivers, and Mr Joe Motha (General Manager, Road Safety, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government).