Not just the gorillas, the humans matter too!

CTPH‘s public health team in conjunction with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) launched a pilot Employee Health Program for  UWA staff who work directly or indirectly with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The program looks at protecting the staff from any occupational hazards that come with taking care of these critically endangered mountain gorillas.

CTPH's COmmunity Health Coordinator Mr. Joseph Byonanebye together with Bwindi Community Hospital's Dr. Julius Nkalubo addressing some of the UWA park staff prior to commencement of medical examination

CTPH's Community Health Coordinator Mr. Joseph Byonanebye together with Bwindi Community Hospital's Dr. Julius Nkalubo addressing some of the UWA park staff prior to commencement of medical examination

The program will ensure that the staff are healthier and this will translate into healthier mountain gorillas with a predictably longer life span.

Providing critical veterinary services where there are no vets

CTPH‘s veterinary team together with teams from the University of Barcelona in Spain, the Andorran government and the Ugandan Ministries of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Health (MoH)’s Vector Control Division spent three weeks treating livestock belonging to the impoverished communities living around Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth National Parks in the biodiversity rich Albertine rift of East and Central Africa. These communities and their animals often come into contact with wildlife including the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Such interventions help ascertain the risk the communities pose to wildlife.

Veterinary staff from Spain, Andorra, MAAIF, MoH and CTPH pose for a group photo

Veterinary staff from Spain, Andorra, MAAIF, MoH and CTPH pose for a group photo

CTPH's founder and CEO Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka drawing a blood sample from agoat. Restarinign the goat is Dr. Ignaci from the University of Barcelona, Spain

CTPH's founder and CEO Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka drawing a blood sample from a goat. Restraining the goat is Dr. Ignaci from the University of Barcelona, Spain

CTPH's Chief Veterinary Technician Mr. Stephen Rubanga drawing blood from a cow. Looking on is CTPH's Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga

CTPH's Chief Veterinary Technician Mr. Stephen Rubanga drawing blood from a cow. Looking on is CTPH's Dr. Abdulhameed Kateregga

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

CTPH CEO IS RUNNER UP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

CTPH Founder and CEO Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is runner up for the Conde Nast Traveler 21st Annual Environmental Award for her efforts towards conserving the endangered mountain gorillas. Dr. Gladys, as she is known locally, founded Conservation Through Public Health in 2002 (CTPH) to improve the health of Uganda’s mountain gorillas by focusing on improving the health of the people and livestock around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Dr. Gladys in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest tracking the endangered mountain gorillas

Dr. Gladys in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest tracking the endangered mountain gorillas

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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

Capturing rare moments

UWA rangers were recently trained on digital photography so that they may be able to capture rare events in the lives of the endangered mountain gorillas at a workshop facilitated by CTPH at CTPH’s Gorilla Conservation Camp.

One of the photos taken and edited by UWA rangers during the training

One of the photos taken and edited by UWA rangers during the training

Quick, Call the Vet

Last week, CTPH trained about 30 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) in and around Bwindi Impentrable National Park.  Many of the communities around the park have no veterinary officer or veterinary drug shop. Many of the farmers cannot afford the cost of the district veterinary officer travelling from district headquarters, a journey of 2 hours. With growing human populations interacting with livestock and wildlife, infectious disease is a very real threat in these communities. CTPH trains Community Animal Health Workers to bridge this gap, offering basic animal health services to their communities and referring harder cases to the district veterinary offices.CAHWs training

It Takes a Village to Move a Zebra

Zebra bitingHe wandered onto the family’s farm about 2 years ago. Now as a mature adult, he is a threat to the family with his frequent biting.

zebra crate truckCTPH led the team to relocate him to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre to expand their zebra population.

IMG_3011In his new home.

Kyambura gorge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

CTPH founder and CEO Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka and her wildlife-loving son Ndhego admiring the picturesque Kyambura Gorge where at least 15 of the 83 Hippos are reported to have died of Anthrax in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

Kyambura gorge

Kyambura gorge

CTPH is part of the National Task Force that is battling the Anthrax outbreak.