Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka
Fellow Since 2006
This profile was prepared when Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
In Uganda, public health programs are managed separately from conservation programs in wildlife-protected areas, using different resources and institutions. This traditional approach has overlooked their interconnection, specifically the problem of zoonotic transmission of diseases between human beings and wildlife that threaten the success of conservation programs. Gladys facilitates institutional change and the creation of new resources dedicated to the control of zoonotic transmission of diseases through linkages between the Ministry of Health and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). She has developed a set of interventions that help communities living in and around the national parks to manage their health and to change their attitudes, seeing themselves as active participants in protecting wildlife. The result is a new early warning system for disease outbreaks in both animal and human populations that facilitates timely interventions from both public health and wildlife conservation programs. A wildlife health monitoring program constantly monitors and treats diseases in the animal population. A public health program improves human health and prevents transmission of disease among humans, wildlife and livestock by engaging the community as monitors of treatments and hygiene. Lastly, an information and education campaign constantly keeps the community knowledgeable about the link between public health, sustainable environments, tourism, and livelihoods.