JGI Celebrates World Health Day!

Today, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) joins the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations and individuals around the globe in commemorating World Health Day.

JGI is committed to supporting a broad array of measures that ensure the health of local communities in areas where we work to protect chimpanzees and their habitat. By improving the health of these rural populations, we can significantly enhance their quality of life and enable them to become partners in conserving the natural resources upon which they depend.

JGI improves the health of local communities by:

Building and Renovating Health Clinics
JGI assists in the construction and maintenance of health clinics near great ape habitat. In 2011, JGI renovated six health clinics, increasing access to health care for more than 33,000 people.

Increasing Knowledge About Good Health
JGI trains health professionals and educates communities in good health practices, including women’s health issues. In 2011, JGI counseled more than 30,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on reproductive health.

In Uganda, JGI equips school girls and teachers with information about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS because girls often drop out of school when they reach puberty. The students are then trained on how to communicate these issues to other youth. In 2011, JGI trained 338 peer educators in Uganda to counsel women each day on women’s health.  As a result, 509 girls have returned to school.

Raising HIV/AIDS Awareness
In Tanzania, JGI offers voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services, as well as treatment referrals. By bringing health workers directly to rural villages, JGI is able to convince thousands of farmers, fisherman and other community members to learn their HIV status, while providing information about preventing transmission and reducing the stigma attached to those who suffer from the disease.

Improving Access to Clean Water & Sanitation
In order to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases, JGI helps villagers renovate contaminated water supplies, construct wells, protect natural springs, improve sanitation, and preserve valuable forest watersheds. In 2011, JGI provided more than 11,000 people in the DRC with access to clean water by protecting 3 natural springs.

Reducing Respiratory Illness
JGI has promoted and trained local communities in the use of fuel-efficient, cleaner stoves. The stoves require much less wood than a typical stove and thereby reduce the incidence of respiratory illness while conserving precious forests. So far, more than 10,650 fuel-efficient stoves have been constructed and 690 people in 27 villages have been trained to construct the stoves.

Combating Cervical Cancer
JGI works with Grounds for Health to bring cervical cancer screening and treatment to women who are part of the Kanyovu Coffee Cooperative in Tanzania. More than 1,500 women have been screened, and, of the women who tested positive, more than 90 percent have received treatment.

Decreasing Risk of Disease Between Humans and Wildlife
JGI monitors the health of wildlife to mitigate the transmission of disease between animal and human populations. In addition, we raise awareness about the health risks associated with consuming bushmeat—wild animal meat. In 2011, JGI broadened the reach of its environmental and education awareness programs to reach more than 2,060,000 people.

On this World Health Day, let’s all renew our commitment to improving the health of people around the world.

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