School of Population Health

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GlobalHealth@UNSW: Partnerships for Development

Who we are

GlobalHealth@UNSW is a critical mass of researchers, students, teachers, development workers and practitioners advancing global health and development. Part of the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), GlobalHealth@UNSW supports the formation of research networks and collaborations, the sharing of knowledge, as well as training and professional development. GlobalHealth@UNSW is committed to addressing all dimensions of health system support and to promoting equity and social justice.  

Aims of GlobalHealth@UNSW

Working at a global level, and with an emphasis on the challenges facing low and middle-income countries, GlobalHealth@UNSW aims to:

  • Promote, through teaching and research, the use of evidence and best public health practice, to enhance countries’ capacity in health policy development, program design, and implementation;
  • Monitor and evaluate public health policies, programs, and initiatives;
  • Facilitate international collaboration to respond more effectively to global health issues, in particular those affecting the most vulnerable populations, and;
  • Build partnerships with groups and institutions, at UNSW, in Australia, and abroad, committed to advancing effective responses to global health issues.

What we do

  • Encourage research collaborations in the Faculty of Medicine, with other UNSW researchers and with researchers in developing countries
  • Engage in research collaboration
  • Conduct education and training
  • Provide support for translating research into policy

Key areas of expertise

  • Infectious diseases
  • HIV
  • Maternal, child and reproductive health
  • Non-communicable diseases and control of risk factors including Tobacco Control
  • Health economics
  • Health promotion
  • Health, human rights and development
  • Human resources management and development
  • Health policy, planning and strategy development
  • Development and health
  • Public health in emergencies
  • Migrant and refugee health

Collaborative Partnerships - Where we work

GlobalHealth@UNSW members work in many low and middle-income areas, including the Asia-Pacific region (China, India, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands), South East Asia and the Mekong (Lao, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand) and have growing partnerships in Africa and in fragile states (Timor-Leste, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and parts of Indonesia). We have a commitment to development principles, which is evident in long-term relationships with partners in a number of countries including the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and Cambodia.

 

Image - trafficGlobally, trauma is among the top three leading causes of death in the first four decades of life. For every death attributable to trauma, three patients survive but are permanently disabled. Majority of trauma results from road traffic injuries, which are disproportionately high in low to middle income countries (LMICs): over 90% of road traffic deaths occur in LMICs, which account for 84% of the world’s population. Musculoskeletal injuries are common manifestations of trauma, occurring in over 60% of injured people. Despite the magnitude of this problem, the burden of musculoskeletal injuries remains unknown in LMICs.

To address this knowledge gap, a global research initiative, spanning 3 continents, was set up in 2015. The International Orthopaedic Multicenter Study in Fracture Care (INORMUS) is an observational study across 18 countries and 40 clinical sites, with over 40,000 participants. This research is investigating fracture care pathways and recovery outcomes in patients in Asia, Latin American and Africa. Professor Rebecca Ivers, head of the School of Population Health, UNSW, is one of the study Principal Investigators and leads the Asian methods centre for the study (based at the George Institute for Global Health), funded by an National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia project grant, which she leads.

INORMUS seeks to determine:

  • the incidence of major complications (mortality, re-operation, and infection) following a musculoskeletal injury, and
  • factors associated with these major complications in LMICs

Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the project has enrolled trauma patients across clinical sites in the said continents. Patients diagnosed with an acute fracture, dislocation, or fracture dislocation of the appendicular skeleton (upper and lower extremities, shoulder girdle, and pelvic girdle) or spine are being observed.

“The INORMUS study will valuable new information about care of fractures in resource poor settings and provide insight into better ways of treatment”, says Prof Ivers, summarising the objective of this project.

This large prospective observational study coincides with the World Health Organization’s Global Road Traffic Safety Decade (2011-2020) and other international efforts to reduce the burden of injury on developing populations. In contrast to the declining rates of injury seen in Western countries, low-middle income countries (LMICs) are experiencing an increase in injury rates, largely due to increased motorization in these countries.

Previous attempts to characterize the fracture burden in many of these countries have proven inadequate because most LMICs lack prospective registries to document the volume of injuries, the treatments chosen, and the outcomes achieved. Of the studies that have been performed, most have been limited by insufficient sample size, scope, and generalizability. As a result, the true burden of orthopaedic injuries in many countries remains to be explored. Identification of common trends in diagnosis, management, complications, and outcomes of orthopaedic trauma is the first step toward resolving disparities in global fracture burden.

To date over 37,000 participants have now been recruited across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Read more about INFORMUS.

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