Melbourne Children’s Global Health Forum August


Development of the investment case to reduce road traffic injuries among adolescents

Dr John Symons
The study examined how introducing safety interventions such as bike and motorcycle helmets, better road design, drink-driving laws, and vehicle safety standards could prevent death and serious injury to young people in 77 low- to middle-income countries. We found that returns on these road safety investments – measured by the added economic and social contributions and productivity of those whose lives are saved and serious injuries avoided – could lead to significant benefit-cost ratios (BCR). BCR is an indicator that compares the value of benefits delivered from the interventions relative to the costs to implement them. The modelling showed BCRs of at least 3 across the 77 countries, with some, such as Comoros, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh and Nepal, over 50.

Global trends in transport and unintentional injury-related mortality and morbidity of adolescents 

Dr Amy Peden 

Injuries are a substantial yet neglected cause of mortality and morbidity around the world. For adolescents, injuries are the leading cause of death yet investment lags behind that of other causes and no prior research has focused on the global burden of injury among adolescents. Using data from the Global Burden of Disease study 2019, this presentation will introduce the issue of injury and report the findings of a systematic analysis of transport and unintentional injury-related harms for adolescents 10-24 years. We will examine burden by injury mechanisms and report on trends and progress made in reducing injury-related mortality and morbidity among adolescents globally since 1990. This presentation will also lay out future high-level priorities for the reduction of injury-related harms among this age group, including research, policy and investment agendas.


Dr John Symons is an economist with experience in a number of applied economic areas including road safety, green infrastructure and health. He has modelled investment cases for achieving road safety, health and education related outcomes with several UN organisations. Dr Symons has also worked extensively in environmental economics including green infrastructure and the circular economy.

Dr Amy Peden is an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Research Fellow with the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales. Dr Peden is an injury researcher who focuses on drowning prevention, with a specific interest on regional communities, alcohol, and social determinants of health. Dr Peden regularly appears in the media and is a co-founder of the UNSW Beach Safety Research Group. Dr Peden holds adjunct appointments with Royal Life Saving Australia, James Cook University, the George Institute for Global Health and the Health and Psychology Innovations lab at Griffith University.

Chair: Dr Karly Cini

The forum took place on Thursday 11 August [Online] at 12:30-1:30 pm AEST.

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