Bridging the gap: The trials and tribulations of undertaking clinical research in Ethiopia
Only 10% of global health research is undertaken within low-income countries, with research often being viewed as a luxury. However, research provides essential information for the development of knowledge and medical treatments and allows limited resources to be used effectively.
There are many challenges to developing a strong research culture in Ethiopia. In particular, there is a need to train and retain high quality researchers within the country. This, however, not only requires adequate funding, but also a willingness to support research and commitment to implementing findings into clinical practice.
This talk will draw on experiences whilst employed as a research co-ordinator for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. The speaker will discuss the process of undertaking a community-based survey in rural Ethiopia and how the findings were implemented into practice. The survey was designed to look at women’s experiences of using the maternal health services and the impact that this had on maternal and child outcomes. Since this required a sample of 28,000 households, spread across the countryside, a second survey was administered to determine the prevalence of obstetric fistula.
Four key challenges will be discussed; 1) the importance of identifying the research priority; 2) the need to develop a cohesive research team; 3) the strategies used for ensuring the collection of high quality data; and 4) the acceptance of and implementation of the findings.
Professor Karen Ballard is Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey and Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin.
The Anglo-Ethiopian Society is affiliated to the University of London’s Centre of African Studies (CAS) and all of our events at SOAS are co-hosted with CAS.
Date and Time
Room B102, Brunei Building, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS)