July 2022, Beirut, Lebanon. The MENA PAIR Program at the American University of Beirut teamed up with child safety experts from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the United States to address the alarming burden of child road injury in Lebanon.
Experts from both institutions conducted informational and instructional workshops at four sites across Lebanon including Beirut, Nabatieh, Tripoli, and Tyre.
The workshops, conducted as part of the Child passenger safety study, were led by Dr. Samar Al-Hajj and were first of their kind conducted in the region. Michelle Price, MPH, a certified child passenger safety technician at Cincinnati Children's joined these workshops and provided technical demonstrations and expertise related to the proper use and installation of car seats and booster seats. Key local partners including road safety NGO YASA, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), and medical professionals joined the workshops. Approximately 80 families attended the workshops where they were educated about pediatric road injury in Lebanon and trained on the proper use of car seats and booster seats.
“Injuries are one of the leading causes of deaths for children globally. Data shows that preventable road traffic injuries constitute one of the leading causes of premature deaths for children and teens in the Middle East and unfortunately Lebanon is no exception. In my recent study, my team and I showed that nearly 3000 children were injured in road traffic crashes in Lebanon, with 237 fatalities reported. And this over three year period only! Children in the 0-5 year age group were most at risk, with over 10% of reported injuries in this age group resulting in fatality. This needs to be timely and urgently addressed!" says Dr. Samar Al-Hajj, founding Director of MENA - Program for Advanced Injury Research (PAIR) at AUB.
The Middle East and North Africa Program for Advanced Injury Research (MENA PAIR) is an NIH-supported multi-disciplinary training program between the American University of Beirut and Yale University. The program offers a mix of short-, medium-, and long-term trainings and workshops to enhance injury research capacity in the MENA region.
For more information about the MENA PAIR program, visit the program website: https://medicine.yale.edu/emergencymed/mena-pair/