Strengthening and scaling an integrated gorilla and human health conservation model

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Silverback, Maraya from Mubare gorilla group in Bwindi. Photo by CTPH

Greetings  from Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH).

We hope the New Year has started well.

We are pleased to have ended 2019 with an increase in endangered mountain gorillas to 1,063 after the 2018 census results of the Bwindi and Sarambwe ecosystem were released.

In 2007, CTPH initiated an integrated conservation and health model through working with Village Health and Conservation Teams (VHCTs) to reach remote communities around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) with information and services focusing on gorilla and forest conservation, hygiene, sanitation, infectious disease prevention and control, family planning, nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) started supporting CTPH in 2009 when our Founder and CEO Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka won the Whitley Gold Award enabling us to improve gorilla health monitoring and community hygiene and sanitation in two parishes, Mukono and Bujengwe, around Bwindi where we worked with 29 community volunteers called Village Health and Conservation Teams (VHCTs) from 22 villages.

We are delighted to let you know that in November 2019, CTPH received continuation funding from WFN to strengthen and scale the integrated gorilla and human health conservation model in four additional frontline parishes with high human and gorilla conflict around Bwindi.

VHCTs from Mukono and Bujengwe parishes around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This funding will enable us to strengthen our community volunteer networks in four additional parishes, Nteko, Rubuguri, Buremba and Mpungu, by working with 270 VHCTs in 53 villages and teaching them how to systematically improve community health and hygiene, and conservation attitudes and practices through home visits and group talks.

We will also work with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to strengthen gorilla health monitoring particularly where gorillas, people and livestock meet.

This includes:

  • Conducting quarterly meetings and refresher trainings with VHCTs on emerging issues
  • Promoting tree planting and use of energy efficient stoves to reduce deforestation and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Supporting improved hygiene, sanitation and waste disposal
  • Collecting and analyzing fecal samples from gorillas, humans and livestock.
  • Deworming people and livestock in line with priority areas identified through routine monitoring.
  • Engaging all 270 VHCTs in group livestock income generating projects to help sustain their volunteer efforts
  • Sharing results, lessons learned and best practices with the government, NGO and private sector tourism stakeholders.

We are very grateful to the Whitley Fund for Nature for all this great support that is enabling us to strengthen and expand the impact of our integrated gorilla and human health conservation model at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support, without which we would not be able to sustain and grow our programs and impact.


Wishing you all the best in 2020!

From the CTPH Team

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