South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit


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Director: Prof Mohamed Seedat
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Professor Mohamed Seedat The Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU) is a partnership between the South Africa Medical Research Council and University of South Africa (UNISA).

VIPRU undertakes trans-disciplinary, critically-oriented public health research and interventions. Our major focus is on data-driven prevention initiatives and transferable solutions for priority injury and violence issues, including peace and safety promotion.

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VIPRU objectives
The objectives of VIPRU are to:

  • Conduct trans-disciplinary research to champion peace and safety promotion, as well as violence and injury prevention;
  • Develop appropriate tools to assess the magnitude, trends and occurrence of crime, injuries and violence, and conditions promotive of safety and peace;
  • Study the risks, causes and determinants of crime, violence and injuries, and factors supportive of safety and peace;
  • Identify, support and develop primary prevention, injury control, and safety and peace promotion demonstration initiatives;
  • Encourage research translation to inform the prevention and promotive work of governments and social movements; and
  • Build primary prevention, and safety and peace promotion research and intervention expertise among researchers, policy-drivers, community-based workers and practitioners

African Safety Promotion Update: The Editorial team is pleased to announce the status of the African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention as an Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) with Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection platform. ESCI is a Citation Index allowing users to track both article and publication activity. Evaluation for International Scientific Indexing (ISI) status will occur after two to three years of coverage as an ESCI journal at which point the Journal Impact Factor will be published annually. We would like to thank our authors and readership for their continued support and interest in publishing in our journal and hope to achieve our status as a global source of African injury prevention and safety promotion in the near future. You can find a link to ASP Volume 15, Number 1, June 2017 here.

VIPRU and Childsafe SA have recently collaborated on a Safe Travel to School Project with the overall objective of making a contribution to safer minibus school travel for children.  In their current issue (March 2017), the South African Medical Journal published the findings of this research and refer to initial improvements of schoolbus driver performance and safety.  The horrific crashes in this industry, including the one reported in Verena, Mpumalanga on Friday, 21 April 2017, has again raised concerns about driver attributes and abilities.  The SAMJ article identifies driver demographics and points to sub-optimal driving circumstances as significant contributors to unsafe driving behaviour. The use of driver safety interventions that include driver training, vehicle roadworthy modification, as well as long-term safety incentivisation are highlighted as promising interventions. 

If you have any queries please contact Prof. Ashley Van Niekerk at

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Last updated:
10 August, 2017
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