Series: “Interview with the Author…”
The badEM crew interviewed Douglas J Wiebe regarding his newly released article in AfJEM Volume 6 Issue 2 entitled: “Economic development & road traffic fatalities in two neighbouring African nations” Original Research by Douglas J. Wiebe, Sunanda Ray, Titus Maswabi, Christina Kgathi, Charles C. Branas.
Link to open access article: Click here:
Corresponding Author: email@example.com
Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in this research?
As injury epidemiologists, we – Doug Wiebe & Charlie Branas – are interested in many issues of injury & public policy. Our work in Africa started when we visited the University of Botswana (UB) in 2010, where colleagues from our university have been collaborating with clinicians & researchers for years on HIV/AIDS treatment & prevention. Of course road traffic crashes also create a large burden in terms of lives lost, disability, & the economy in Botswana & neighboring nations. Groups at UB & other universities have been conducting important work to study, treat, & prevent road traffic crash injuries. But this research field is relatively small, in terms of investigators & research funding that is dedicated to the topic, & needs to be expanded. Since that visit we have been working to build upon infrastructure that is already in place, & create new partnerships including this collaboration with Sunanda Ray, Titus Maswabi, & Christina Kgathi. We also support trainees working to build capacity & help contribute to the evidence that can be used in strategic planning to make roadways & travel in Africa safer.
What were the key findings from this study?
Road crash fatalities increased in recent decades in both Zambia & Botswana. But the rapid economic development in Botswana over this time period appears to have driven proportionate road traffic fatality increases. That is, we found that the road traffic fatality increases in Botswana resulted from, rather than just corresponded with, the especially rapid economic development that occurred there. From a public health spandpoint the aspects of economic development that result in road traffic fatalities constitute risk factors that are modifiable.
What do these findings mean within the African context?
There are opportunities for newly emerging economies such as Zambia, Angola, & others to learn from the Botswana experience. Evidence-based investments in road safety interventions should be concomitant with economic development.
Check out the full-text open access article: Click here
More about AfJEM (excerpt from their newsletter)
AfJEM is an open access publication in the spirit of bringing #FOAMed to Africa. This is an important consideration, especially in a low to middle income setting where prospective readers, that may benefit from published information, will most likely not be able to access subscription based journal content. The AfJEM has no front end (author) or back end (reader) fees, and on top of that it offers a free Author Assist service that has been shown to reverse one in every four reject decisions (of manuscripts that fall within the journal’s scope) over the last five years.