Conservation Through Public Health

Project LocationBwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Project TypeWildlife and habitat conservation, Community conservation initiatives, Endangered species protection, Environmental education
Endangered SpeciesGorilla
Benefiting Locally3000+ with internet access and healthcare education
Project Websitewww.ctph.org

Conservation Through Public Health

Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that focuses on the interdependence of wildlife and human health in and around the protected areas of Uganda such as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and the Lake Victoria Basin. CTPH spearheads gorilla conservation, which not only focuses on gorilla health but human and livestock health as well. In areas where these three groups interact on a long-term basis there are impacts on the health and stability of each group. Gorilla tourism (upon which many communities depend on) is heavily reliant on the health and survival of gorilla groups.

Wildlife Health Monitoring

CTPH has established an early warning system for disease outbreaks through wildlife faecal sample collection and analysis. Rangers, trackers, field assistants and community volunteers from the Human and Gorilla Conflict Resolution (HUGO) team are trained to recognise clinical signs in gorillas.
The samples are analysed for disease causing organisms at the Gorilla Research Clinic (with the results being shared with local health clinics). Samples from deceased animals are also taken to ensure the early detection of fatal diseases within the park. Detailed disease surveillance is used to detect infection rates and trends amongst diseases that spread between wildlife, livestock and humans, preventing serious large-scale outbreaks. The results improve wildlife and livestock management.

Human Public Health

CTPH is working with the Kanungu District Medical Office and local health centres to improve the health of Bwindi communities.  The promotion of family planning as well as disease control & prevention see improvements in the health of local communities. Reduced levels of TB, HIV/AIDS, Scabies and Dysentery are seen. CTPH arranges village health talks and oversees the distribution of educational material to improve communities’ ability to prevent ill health themselves. This has the knock-on effect of improving health in gorilla populations.

Information, Education, and Communication

The Internet provided by CTPH Telecentre offers computer and Internet access to provide a wide range of economic and social opportunities. This has both direct and indirect impacts on the health of human, wildlife and livestock populations. CTPH and UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) work together to train people how to use these resources effectively.

Tusk Support

Conservation Through Public Health has received support from Tusk since 2015. With this support, CTPH has been able to make substantial improvements to their community conservation centre. Improvements such as a rainwater harvesting system (capable of holding 10,000 litres of water which is extremely useful during the dry season) and modern toilet facilities (an improvement from the bucket toilet previously used) are now in place. Tusk has also helped to fund the day-to-day running of CTPH, with staff salaries, fuel costs, communication links and gorilla monitoring activities all being funded.

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