Some of the Challenges to know when going for field work

In the end of June 2014, I left Oslo to Tanzania for my field work. I remember when the day of departure came, I couldn’t believe that I was going to rejoin my family again after 10 months stays in Norway. Yes, I can tell you, Ihave enjoyed my stay in Tanzania especially being closer to my wife Faraja and beloved daughters Alice-Elizabeth, Jane-rose and Doreen-Faith. I have also enjoyed the whole process of data collection here in Tanzania and I am still working on my data collection. I have learned many things so far and through this engagement, I have pointed out several challenges that one need to understand and try to see how he/she can overcome especially when doing field work in the home country.

  • Finding out research participants
  • Distraction from family-social issues around the community which may cause loose in focus
  • Time management especially from the study participants (Late arrivals) due to many factors including traffic jam etc
  • Long wait of clearance from the ethical committees in developing countries
  • Costs
  • Telephone Communication with study participants (Wrong numbers or using relatives ‘phone number)
  • Distance from where the study participants come from to the study sites


Alick Kayange, Faraja, Alice-Elizabeth, Jane-Rose, Doreen-faith and their maid Fauster

I here urge my colleagues in ICH 2014 to carefully consider these challenges related to the field work and try to see how they can overcome them from June 2015.


Facts about Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
  • Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
  • There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.