The Trauma Surgery Section at Hamad General Hospital’s Department of Surgery was recently awarded two National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) grants worth over US$1.7 million. The NPRP is the competitive flagship program of the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation) which funds research projects of national importance.
The two winning projects, Young Kids in Safe Seats (Y-KISS) Qatar Project: A Randomized Study to Increase Child Restraint Use in Qatar and A Unified Registry for Workplace Injury Prevention in Qatar were among the 162 projects awarded during the NPRP’s recently-concluded funding cycle. Each is a three-year multi-phase grant.
Thesegrants are in line with the vision of Dr Hassan Al-Thani, Head of HMC’sTraumaCenter, to complement the advanced treatment of victims of trauma with relevant research that will inform injury prevention programs for the leading causes of injury in Qatar, which are road traffic and occupational (workplace) injuries.
“The twoprojects underlie our efforts to go beyond the emergency room, operating theater and ICU to save the residents of Qatar from the leading causes of trauma. The valuable research conducted will guide us, and other stakeholders in the field, as we continue to take steps to make our roads and workplaces safer,” said Dr Al-Thani.
“Young Kids in Safe Seats (Y-KISS) will survey local child restraint knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents and caregivers of young children below the age of five. It will conduct evaluations to identify the best means of increasing the use of child restraints through innovative educational programs,” said Dr Ruben Peralta, lead principal investigator and Director of the Trauma and Critical Care Fellowship Program, an advocate of road safety who has worked in the field for more than a decade in numerous countries with varied settings.
“Our preliminary research in Qatar showed that among our young victims of road trauma, serious injury and death only occurred in those who were not restrained. The youngest road users in Qatar often bear the brunt of the decisions of parents and caregivers; it is high time that we prioritized the safety of our most precious cargo,” said Dr Peralta.
Collaborators on this grant include the Primary Health Care Corporation and the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
“The second project involves the creation of a Unified Registry for Workplace Injury Prevention in Qatar that will identify, collect and analyze all data on occupational or workplace injuries in order to better understand the complex factors that lead to these injuries,” said Dr Rafael Consunji, lead principal investigator and Director of the Hamad Injury Prevention Program.
“This unified registry will be used to inform all relevant stakeholders of areas or factors that must be prioritized in order to reduce the burden of workplace injuries in Qatar. The final result will be a single linked database that can monitor workplace injuries and identify risk factors that must be addressed and corrected,” Dr Consunji explained.
DrConsunji has aligned the said project with the National Health Strategy2011-2016 and is working collaboratively with the Supreme Council of Health and the Ministry of Labor, which are the lead agencies for occupational health and safety in Qatar, and with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.