CTPH works in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in two provinces within North Kivu around Virunga National Park: Mount Tshiabirimu in the northern sector and Mikeno in the southern sector. Virunga is one of the oldest national parks in Africa being established in 1925 and covering an area of 7,800 km².
All target communities live in villages within frontline parishes situated within 1 km from the park boundary. They are among the poorest and most marginalized in the country having the least access to social services and resources to meet their most basic needs. Homes bordering the park also face conflict with wildlife, which in turn affects food security. We are primarily concerned about disease transmission between humans and critically endangered gorillas and expanding an integrated gorilla and human health model that has been successfully implemented at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
CTPH has trained park rangers at Mount Tshiabirimu in gorilla health monitoring. Using the VHCT model, CTPH delivers family planning, community health and gorilla conservation to the last mile user through an integrated PHE approach. We prevent and control cross species disease transmission by training VHCTs to promote good health and hygiene practices and refer people with infectious diseases to the nearest health centres. VHCTs also collect monthly indicators from their communities on health and conservation. We also promote the health of livestock that can be carriers of zoonotic diseases where people and gorillas meet.