What happens when the population data that you collect become so personal and real that they impact you – literally?
After the first day of training for the new PMA2020/Uganda schistosomiasis survey, field supervisors mentioned that their Resident Enumerators (data collectors) had asked them about the possibility of being tested for schistosomiasis. Why wouldn’t they want to know their status, after all?
The REs participated in an educational session on treatment of schistosomiasis, and were given the option to test themselves, working in pairs. If results were positive, an on-site physician was present to offer treatment. The previous day, REs were being trained to handle anonymous urine samples, whereas this particular day, the samples were their own.
One of the supervisors noted that many of the REs were nervous to find out their status – some were even physically shaking while trying to handle the urine samples. And some of them were right, unfortunately – a handful of samples came out positive.
The PMA2020/Uganda team came back together for a session on dosing and treatment. Two of the REs who were tested positive willingly volunteered to go through the dosing exercise immediately after the testing, and even consumed the pills in front of the entire class, providing feedback in real time. “Not bad,” one of them reacted to the taste.