PRIMATE CONSERVATION, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES by Dr. G. Kalema-Zikusoka

My supervisor Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka gives one of the plenary talks at the 2012 International Primatological Society Conference in Cancun, Mexico: PRIMATE CONSERVATION, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES by Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

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photos courtesy of Nicola Campbell

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a grassroots, nonprofit, Ugandan based NGO, which now has a U.S. office at Colgate University School of Environmental Studies Program. Conservation Through Public Health was set up in 2003 to promote conservation and public health by improving primary health care to people and animals in and around protected areas in Africa, with a vision of controlling disease transmission where people, wildlife and livestock meet while cultivating a winning attitude to conservation and public health in local communities.

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka became an Ashoka fellow for leading social entrepreneurs in September 2006 based on her vision of linking Uganda’s wildlife management and rural public health programs to create common resources that benefit both people and animals. Conservation Through Public Health is the first NGO in Africa set up to focus on this issue.

Gladys was among eight women given an award for outstanding contribution towards Tourism Development and Women Empowerment in 2007. In May 2008 she received the San Diego Zoo Conservation Medal Award, category of Conservation in Action and in June 2008 she received the British Council Outstanding Young Alumni Award in Uganda.

In 2003, she completed a zoological medicine residency and her Masters in specialized veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Zoological Park. During the three year residency, she carried out research on Tuberculosis in the human/wildlife/livestock interface in Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks in Uganda. This was funded by an African Wildlife Foundation Charlotte Fellowship Conservation Award. She also obtained a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.

Gladys obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1995. She went on to work for four and half years as a Veterinary Officer for Uganda Wildlife Authority from 1996 to 2000. This involved setting up a veterinary unit in UWA and veterinary programs for mountain gorillas and other wildlife in Uganda; pioneering the first wildlife translocations in Uganda since the 1970s, and developing the first community education campaigns on risks of human and gorillas disease transmission among others.

When working as UWA Veterinary Officer, Gladys’s work was featured in documentaries including BBC One, National Geographic, Animal Planet, MNet and Uganda Television.

Gladys hopes that CTPH will be at the forefront of reducing transmission of disease from people to animals and vice versa.

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