Category Archives: Education

A scientific study on a fact finding mission on what CTPH does on the ground by Makerere University students

Makerere University is a leading Institution of higher learning in Uganda. Students doing Masters in IDM and their lecturers came for a two day scientific study on a fact finding mission on what CTPH does on the ground. The students and lecturers were joined by among others from CTPH, Stephen Rubanga a founder and Program Officer, Animal Health Technical, David Matsiko Field Office Manager and Alex Ngabirano PHE Field Assistant. The Makerere University Lecturers were Dr. Sam Mujalija, Dr. Kazoora Herbert Brian and seven students.

Mzee Gongo on the water source

Stephen gave a presentation and over view of CTPH activities and stated the mission and Vision of CTPH. In Stephen’s presentation, he talked about why and when CTPH was founded singling out Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka who was working as a veterinary doctor before she founded CTPH as a hard working and visionary person.
The team had a visit to the park offices. Olivia Biira (Warden Community Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) gave a presentation to the team.

Olivia Biira explaining how CTPH works with UWA

In her presentation she talked about CTPH partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and how CTPH addresses the problem of disease transmission between people wildlife and livestock, creates awareness among the people living around the park and how it is controlling population pressure by practicing family planning around the park. She thanked CTPH for collecting and analyzing gorilla feacal samples and training rangers on sample collection. She also thanked CTPH for giving out livestock to the volunteers which is improving community livelihoods. The students were very happy to hear this.
The team visited Bahati Daudi. Bahati Daudi demonstrate using a flip chart

Bahati is a Community Conservation Health Volunteer from Kanyashande village in Mukono parish. Bahati demonstrated using CTPH flip charts how he teaches the community. He used the model of the bad and good family. In addition, Bahati demonstrates how he teaches people to put on condoms by using the carved mode
The team went to Bujengwe parish.

Hope Matsiko giving out an injection to the client

We first visited the home of Hope Matsiko where she demonstrated to the team how she administers family planning methods using Depo-Provera and how she refers those with side effects and those who want long term and permanent methods. The visiting team was very happy for this visit.

Stephen Rubanga explain how the livestock project for the volunteers started and its importance

Dog vaccination in Iraaro village

Today we a team from Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) comprising of Stephen Rubanga, David Matsiko, Kityo Emmanuel and Alex Nabirano went to Iraaro to do dog vaccination with Dr. Lynn Murrel. 26 dogs were vaccinated against rabbies a zoonotic disease that can be harmful to human beings and wildlife especially the gorillas. Well done the team!DSCN0095

Volunteering at CTPH has been one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences

I began working with CTPH in September 2011, as a marketing and development volunteer through the American Jewish World Service Volunteer Corps program. Before moving to Uganda I worked in international development in the US for about 2 years before finally making it to the African continent, and being here has by far surpassed my expectations. Volunteering at CTPH has been one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences I’ve ever had, and has made me more likely than ever to want to continue working on international issues.

1Gorilla research clinic new site

The work I’ve done for CTPH has been both interesting and dynamic. I was fortunate enough to come at a time when CTPH was considering its long-term strategic goals, and was able to support staff in their process of deciding where the organization wants to be in a year, three years, five years, and so on. Since then I’ve run a grant-writing workshop for CTPH staff, worked to improve our online presence by creating a Flickr and Twitter account, drafted brochures and newsletters, assisted in writing grants, worked on content for our new website (which we will be launching soon!), and helped out with the annual report and other donor-documents. I’ve been able to sit in on a number of meetings with partner organizations and stakeholders, as well as contribute some ideas on how to improve operations and grow CTPH’s model. I feel so fortunate to have been able to participate in such a meaningful way.

One of the most unusual and exciting aspects of CTPH is its ability to integrate numerous programs and approaches across sectors: whether working to achieve biodiversity conservation in some of Africa’s most beautiful protected areas through improving public health for some of the poorest people on the content; improving people’s livelihoods to decrease their dependency on tourism; or working to blend nonprofit-type philanthropy with innovative business practices, CTPH does a little bit of almost everything without diffusing its overall goals.

Daniela and Sam, a community conservation health volunteer at the village aquaponics projec

The village aquaponics project

Part of what drew me to accept a placement at CTPH was its unique mission: control the spread of diseases between humans, wildlife and livestock, thus conserving natural resources and biodiversity while simultaneously improving health for very poor, rural communities. In November I was fortunate enough to visit both Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, two of the areas where we work, to observe a family-planning training for our network of community health volunteers. Although I was already impressed by CTPH’s integrated health and conservation model, seeing their program in action gave me whole new insights into the success of their programs. I got to observe two days of training for community conservation health volunteers in Buhoma District near Bwindi, and it was both impressive and moving to see this large network of people working together to improve conditions for their communities.

On my trip, I also got to visit our gorilla health research clinic, the village Aquaponics project and the site for our new Gorilla Conservation Camp and Gorilla Health Center.

Working with the dedicated CTPH staff has also been an amazing experience. Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is an inspiring mentor and leader, and it’s clear she has been head of the pack when it comes to combining conservation and development. I’m also continually impressed by the high quality of work that my colleagues and co-worker produce and have gained an enormous amount of knowledge from them both about the institutional structures in Uganda and about the sectors of conservation and public health specifically.

Community Conservation Health volunteer training on family planning in Kisoro districtKisoro volunteers receiving training on family planning

Beyond the enormous professional and intellectual opportunities accorded me in my time at CTPH, I feel a profound gratitude at having had a chance to live in this beautiful country and interact with its amazing people. I will miss Uganda and CTPH and hope that they are able to continue their impressive work for years to come!

Aquaponics at CTPH

ECOLIFE Foundation has been collaborating with Conservation Through Public Health for the last six months. At the CTPH field station in Bwindi, Uganda we have created an Aquaponics system right next to the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

CTPH Staff participating in  the building of the acquaponics project in Bwindi

CTPH Staff participating in the building of the acquaponics project in Bwindi

Aquaponics is the symbiotic growing of plants and aquatic animals in a re-circulating environment. It combines vegetable and fish farming. Water is cycled with a water pump run by solar electricity between fish tanks and vegetable growing areas. Fish waste acts as a natural fertilizer for the crops. Plants and beneficial bacteria scrub ammonia and other nitrogenous compounds from the water, making it safe for the fish.The CTPH Aquaponics system will serve as a self-sustaining prototype and model to aid capacity building in the region. As Aquaponics provides an easily manageable means of producing additional sources of income and protein, and systems can be reproduced in all shapes and sizes, we hope these will be replicated throughout the district. In additional to increasing income and protein, it also reduces the human impact on our environment. Aquaponics lessens pressure on wildlife, whether it be the bush meat trade or over-fishing, it also replicates natural systems such as lakes and rivers, creating a near zero impact method of food production. It uses no soil for growing and once the initial building is done the only input is food for the fish.

Replicating the module to Uganda

Replicating the model to Uganda

For more information on Aquaponics please visit: www.ECOLIFEFOUNDATION.org

Positive change to the communities living near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Miriam Bifumbo is a Community Conservation Health Worker (CCHW) whose village Mukono is frequently visited by the two gorilla groups of Rushegura and Mubare. Her husband is a traditional healer. People from her village are amazed to see the communities living near the protected area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park changing the way of living in a positive way. The above has been attributed to CTPH work and the commitment it has on the poorest people living around the protected areas.

Children from Nyamishamba playing in front of their household

Children playing in front of their home.

On 3rd January 2011, David Matsiko and Alex Ngabirano, both working with CTPH  visited Miriam Bifumbo. She narrated what she thinks the community have benefited from Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) programs since she took up her volunteer position with CTPH in 2007.

Miriam Bifumbo said that CTPH programs have changed the communities in a very positive way. ‘’Since 2007 I have noticed an improvement in very many households in my village. People sweep their houses and compounds, women no longer give birth at home  but rather at hospital, and there is improved hygiene and sanitation especially in women whenever they are passing through public places” Miriam stated.

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Community Conservation Health Workers (CCHWs) attending a Population Health and Environment (PHE) monthly meeting

She added that many people drink boiled water and have clean containers.  Men who did not mind about family planning have now started understanding the importance of family planning and sometimes accompany their women whenever they are going to get family planning service from the CCHWs. Many women now space child births by at least 2 years.  The above are attributed to the three CTPH programs that have contributed to the co-existence of people, wildlife and livestock.

CTPH at PASA

CTPH was represented at the 2010 Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) Veterinary Workshop by Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga. The workshop ran from the 14th – 20th November 2010. He gave a presentation about CTPH‘s work around protected areas in Africa.

Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga giving a presentation at the PASA workshop

Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga giving a presentation at the PASA workshop. Looking on is PASA and Chester Zoo's Steve Unwin

BWINDI PARK RANGERS LEARN HOW TO IDENTIFY GORILLAS USING MODERN TECHNOLOGY

Knowledge is useless unless it makes an impact on one’s life and the surrounding. This is one of the remarks Mr. John Justice Tibesigwa who represented the Area Conservation Manager for Bwindi and Mgahinga Conservation Area (BMCA) used at the closure of a three days training workshop in digital photography from 18th-20th October 2010.
The workshop was a second one in two months for the rangers. It was aimed at equipping the rangers with modern and update technology on how best they can improve on their Wildlife Health Monitoring techniques in BMCA.
The training attracted rangers from different habituated gorilla groups in BMCA especially from Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Rangers including Agenya David, Otekat James both from Buhoma were joined by Kyosimiire Scovia from Ruhija, Binaisa Godfrey from Rushaga and Tugumisirize Richard from Nkuringo.

Rangers and CTPH team with Mr. Muramura

Rangers, CTPH Team and Mr. Muramura pose for a photo in Bwindi Forest

CTPH Team headed by Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, also attended the training. They included Stephen Rubanga, Joseph Byonanebye, Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga, Hillary Agaba and David Matsiko. Mr. Muramura P Musiime took the participants in the introduction to digital camera where he emphasized the use of very good pictures in Wildlife Health Monitoring. He illustrated how to take very good pictures and the rangers learnt from him.
On day two and three, the rangers and the CTPH Team went to track M and R gorilla groups while learning from Muramura how to take very nice pictures.
After the training, the five rangers went home with cameras each that will be used in wildlife health monitoring.
Godfrey Balyesiima the warden Tourism and John Justice Tibesigwa who represented the CAM were very happy for the cordial working relationship between CTPH and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
In August, the same rangers were trained. All these trainings are aimed at controlling disease transmission at the wildlife-human-livestock interface while cultivating a winning attitude towards conservation and public health in the local communities surrounding BMCA.

Gorilla identification sample picture from one of the rangers

Gorilla identification sample picture from one of the rangers