World Health Day: JGI and Communities
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 on 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 the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), JGI has renovated eight clinics, increasing access to health care for more than 18,000 people.
- Increasing Knowledge About Good Health
JGI trains health professionals and educates communities in good health practices, including women’s health issues. In the DRC, JGI has trained more than 375 health workers and volunteers who have counseled more than 133,000 women.
- In Uganda, JGI equips school girls and teachers with information about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. The students are then trained on how to communicate these issues to other youth. JGI has trained 336 peer educators in Uganda who counsel more than 5,000 women each day on women’s health.
- 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 both 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 the last few years, JGI has provided more than 60,000 people in the DRC and Tanzania with access to clean water.
- 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 1,570 fuel-efficient stoves have been constructed and 181 people 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 Guinea, JGI has distributed more than 17,500 materials about chimpanzees and the risks of bushmeat. In the Republic of the Congo, more than 16,400 students have received information about chimpanzees and bushmeat.
On this World Health Day, let’s all renew our commitment to improving the health of people around the world.