Protecting Gorillas Through Human Health (PODCAST)

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When a scabies outbreak among a gorilla population was linked back to the hygiene habits of the local communities they lived near, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka quickly learned that the conservation of the species was even more intimately linked to humans than previously thought. As a response, she created the NGO Conservation Through Public Health and her multidisciplinary approach focuses on preventing and controlling disease transmission between closely genetically related species such as people and gorillas, and cattle and buffalo, and promoting a better quality of life that reduces local communities’ dependence on fragile habitats to meet their basic needs.

Her methods have garnered worldwide attention as she has received numerous awards, including but not limited to the Whitley Gold Award for outstanding leadership in grassroots nature conservation and the Jane Goodall Institute Award for Conservation. In September, she became the first African to win the 2020 Aldo Leopold Award from the American Society of Mammologists for outstanding contributions to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. With zoonotic diseases projected to become more prevalent in the years to come, her work and the lessons she’s learned is invaluable to each and every one of us.


(2:43) When did she realize the importance of human health when it came to protecting gorillas?

(12:01) Why also support the coffee farmers?

(14:45) Consequences of COVID-19 on the communities and the gorillas.

(24:05) The story of one very special gorilla.

What YOU Can Do


If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to go to your favorite podcast app and please subscribe, rate and review!

Hit me up on Instagram and Facebook (Page / Private Group) and let me know what actions for the world you have been taking. Adopting just one habit can be a game-changer because imagine if a billion people also adopted that!

What difference for the world are you going to make today?


Background music by Fearless Motivation Instrumentals: Meaning of Life

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