“It’s very important to work in an integrated way, try and break our silos and just try and reach out to each other because if we don’t work together, we won’t be able to solve this issue. COVID is not just a human health issue, it’s also an animal health issue, and it’s also a wildlife issue.”
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a Ugandan wildlife veterinarian and founder of two award-winning entities, an NGO, Conservation Through Public Health and a social enterprise, Gorilla Conservation Coffee.
Even as the Covid pandemic raised public awareness of the dangers of zoonotic diseases, Ugandan wildlife veterinarian Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has continued and deepened her pioneering work in the field. She founded and leads Conservation Through Public Healthcare, one of the first programs in the world to link human health and wellbeing and wildlife conservation, recognising that diseases can be transferred back and forth between often impoverished communities on the outskirts of protected areas and the wildlife that live in those areas. She and her colleagues created and implemented an integrated approach to sustainable development, simultaneously addressing community health and livelihoods, while conserving wildlife and natural habitats in Uganda and elsewhere in Central Africa. During the pandemic she created new protocols to protect the endangered mountain gorillas, who are a particular focus of her work. Globally her work has contributed to the development of the One Health philosophy that is now being widely adopted.
Learn more about her work at https://ctph.org