I furthered my cultural competency skills and feel more confident in being in a vastly different culture. This also includes becoming more comfortable talking about preconceived biases with people from different cultures and nations in a respectful and open manner. Additionally, visiting the hospitals provided great insight on the efficacy of international aid and the challenges the global community still faces with providing relevant and timely material and non-material aid which can adapt to changing local needs.
The experience had a good variety of learning about animal and human health concepts in global health. It was unique to visit two human hospitals and hear perspectives from human health professionals. In one week, you learn a lot about the country’s landscapes and cultures. Visiting CTPH was very valuable. The opportunity to see critically endangered mountain gorillas was once-in-a-lifetime. Observing these animals and related issues in-person greatly enhances your understanding of these One Health issues.
This experience allowed me to dive deeper into “Global Health Challenges.” No longer was it just a topic I was learning in a classroom, or a disease that was a world away… it became a reality. True hunger and poverty along with limited to no access to clean water became very real and evident, while things such as Malaria became something we actually had to worry about. I know these all sound like negative things – but I find each of these things valuable not only as a veterinary student but as a human being. It’s easy to ignore what is happening when it’s a world away, but once you are thrown in the mix of it all it suddenly stops being a topic in a classroom and becomes a very harsh reality.
I would definitely recommend this experience to other students! It gave me an experience I would not have had otherwise. We were able to see and do so much, including meeting wonderful, empowering people such as Dr. Gladys, the founder of CTPH. If I were to try and do this on my own, I’m sure the trip would have cost a fortune and wouldn’t have included both educational and networking benefits.
This study abroad class was eye-opening and truly exposed me to multiple aspects of global health challenges. I was able to meet and talk with the local people in their villages, visit hospitals in different areas to truly grasp what medical facilities are like in a foreign country, and also gain a new perspective for the veterinary field via meeting and visiting the Ugandan Veterinary students at their own veterinary college. The program was well led, organized, and maintained a safe environment while enabling us to truly experience Africa.
This experience not only allowed me to learn more about a global health and one health initiative, but this program also allowed me to really experience the culture of Uganda. This is important because this allows me to keep an open mind and will help me in my future career. This experience showed me many different angles of the health field and gave me an informative broad understanding of the positives and negatives of the medical and veterinary fields.
We work with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) wardens and rangers to collect fecal samples from gorilla night nests and train them to look out for clinical signs in the gorillas.
We train Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWS) who provide basic veterinary services to the community’s livestock. We also support the community with rabies vaccinations, spays and neuters of their pet dogs and cats.
Here we work with Village Health and Conservation Teams (VHCTs) community volunteers who visit homes in their villages and promote hygiene and sanitation, family planning, infectious disease prevention and control including referring suspect TB, HIV, Scabies and diarrhea patients, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, as well as, conservation of the gorillas and their habitat. This includes reporting homes that are regularly visited by gorillas to help reduce human and wildlife conflict.
We have a youth program – the Impenetrable Kids League, a partnership with The Kids League where we currently work with eight schools in two sub counties around Bwindi; the winning team has to win the game and score highest on the quiz about conservation and public health.
Typical length of stay is one month, but can range from one week to two months or even longer. The budget is $500 per volunteer, researcher or intern per week covering accommodation in a self contained tent or self contained room in a Guest House, meals and staff time. If you bring your own tent, it is $350 for the week. This does not include a gorilla permit, which costs $600 and goes to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, or transport, which varies according to the means of transport from Entebbe to Bwindi, and the type of work in Bwindi. CTPH can help you to book a gorilla permit. Please fill the form and return it to us with your CV at your most convenient time. Click here to download our “Study With A Cause” brochure.
*It is a requirement for all student volunteers and interns to have a research proposal related to our activities.
*Please note that anyone intending to conduct research in Uganda’s Wildlife Protected Areas or on wildlife in general must fill in application forms, attach a detailed proposal and CV and submit them in duplicate to Uganda Wildlife Authority. Please see details here. Researchers are also required to seek approval from Uganda National Council for Science and Technology before conducting research in Uganda. Please find research guidelines and application forms here.
Download the CTPH application form and manual here
Find research guidelines and application forms here
Download the UNCST research permit application forms here or apply online here
Researchers can also find useful information here
Download the CTPH ecotourism brochure here