Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) emerged winner of the GDN 2012 Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP) for improving service delivery through scaling up the Village Health Conservation Teams (VHCT) and Village Savings and Loan associations (VSLA) approach. The award was won at GDN’s 14th Annual Global Development Conference on ‘Inequality, Social protection and Inclusive Growth’ held at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines on 19-21 June 2013 where about 400 participants attended the conference from all over the world including South East Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. This is the first time a Ugandan organization has ever won this award where CTPH was among three finalists together with organizations from India and Bangladesh. The Award is supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. Please click here and/or the photo below for a video footage.
CTPH’s winning project "Integrated Biodiversity Conservation, Health and Community Development around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, SW Uganda" demonstrated the most innovative model that can sustain environmental, social, and economic development in Uganda and beyond. “Using an integrated approach to wildlife conservation, community health and sustainable livelihoods, we are helping to secure the health and survival of critically endangered species and fragile habitats, and extending community based health services to some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged human populations in Africa.
Traditionally health, conservation and community development are addressed independently; we have found that linking them can cost effectively promote conservation, public health and sustainable livelihoods”, says Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, CTPH Founder and CEO.
CTPH integrates biodiversity conservation with public health through monitoring, research and community outreach where people, wildlife and livestock meet. CTPH works closely with Uganda Wildlife Authority to support wildlife health monitoring, and built a Gorilla Research Clinic in Buhoma, Bwindi that analyses samples from gorillas, domestic animals and symptomatic humans through a partnership with the local hospitals, to test for the same diseases that we are investigating in the animals. This has resulted in improved proactive management of wildlife with better prevention of disease outbreaks.
Building on the Ministry of Health Village Health Team structure, CTPH facilitated the formation of Village Health and Conservation Teams volunteers who promote family planning, hygiene and sanitation and good nutrition, as well as increasing case detection and referral of infectious diseases (TB, Scabies, HIV, diarrhea) to the local health centres. The volunteers also conduct conservation education on biodiversity and ecofriendly agricultural practices where data collected is shared with MOH and UWA. One set of VHCTs are now sustaining their activities with Village Savings and Loan Associations. The Award will enable CTPH to expand to this sustainable VHCT model to another location in the national park.
In addition through advocacy we are scaling the model, by sharing the results with policy and decision makers and established networks, including Uganda Population Health and Environment (PHE) Working Group of which CTPH is currently the secretariat, Poverty and Conservation Learning Group and Public Health and Conservation Technical Support Unit” adds Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka.
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