Colgate to Uganda: Research and Aid

The satellite office of Conservation Through Public Health recently opened its doors at the new Ho Center at Colgate University. Conservation Through Public Health (CPTH) is a Ugandan based non-profit organization that aims to conserve the health of both the Ugandan people and the Mountain Gorillas around Bwindi National Park, located on the southwest border of Uganda.

Mountain Gorillas are a huge tourist attraction and are the main source of income for those who live around the park. In the past few years, human diseases have spread to these gorillas, threatening their livelihood. CTPH tries to prevent such disease transference by finding humans who are infected with diseases such as Tuberculosis or Scabes, providing medicines to those in need and extending public health education.

So what does CTPH have to do with Colgate University? The Geography and Biology departments have partnered with CTPH so that students have incredible research opportunities, be it in the classroom, independent research studies or on the Uganda Extended Study. Professors Frank Fry, Peter Scull and Ellen Kraly visited the CTPH office in Bwindi last spring and decided that this educational opportunity was too great to pass up. Currently, two students are researching the perceptions of Tuberculosis in towns bordering Bwindi so that CTPH knows how to best educate people on the disease. TB is known to spread easily from humans to gorillas and is one of the main diseases CTPH is battling in the park and in the community. Also, the Ugandan Extended Study will be doing research for CTPH this May. Students will be studying diseases the gorillas carry, creating a GIS of the National Park and helping to educate the community on disease transference. In addition, the satellite office at the Ho Center, which student-run, is attempting to raise awareness on campus and in the States about the organization. The connection between CTPH and Colgate University allows for students to gain invaluable experience within the non-profit world, along with making direct contributions to the organization by the way of research.

If you want to get involved with CTPH, please e-mail Maggie Yolen at MYolen.