“You need to address human and wildlife health together in order to have holistic outcomes”

Mahesh Liloriya Tuesday 30th May 2023 11:13 EDT

Conservation and wildlife lovers, businesses and school children supported a very special book launch for an esteemed Ugandan wildlife vet at the Uganda House London. ‘Walking With Gorillas’ by Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka was launched by the Ugandan foreign minister Jeje Odongo, Secretary General of National Resistance Movement Party Richard Todwong, the High Commissioner of Uganda H.E. Nimisha Madhvani and prominent personalities.

Launching, Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo said, “We are here to recognize the work done by Dr Gladys. Many of us aspire to see the great gigantic creature and incidentally, the Mountain Gorilla exists only in Africa and in Africa, the largest population is found in Uganda. Until people like Dr Gladys got involved, this beautiful gigantic creature was in danger. There was a threat that our children or grandchildren may not be able to see this creature. Due to the intensive efforts of conservation, now the population of Gorillas is growing. If you want to fly to Uganda, please come to Uganda House.”

Richard Todwong, Secretary General of National Resistance Movement Party said, “Happy to know about this initiative is now in the records of this book. It is more than a book. We invite you to come and visit Uganda. Have the experience of these wonderful friends. Uganda is open for you; it has free entry and free exit.”

The High Commissioner of Uganda H.E. Nimisha Madhvani said, “We are very proud of you Dr Gladys. You have worked very hard and are really an aspiration to young women. I request that people come to Uganda to explore wildlife, nature and their roots. Travelling to Uganda is safe, easy and beneficial in all aspects.”

In the closing remarks, Praveen Moman Founder of Volcanoes Safaris said, “It’s been a long journey for those who are working for Great Ape Conservation for the last 25 years. I want to congratulate Dr Gladys; she and all such people make this journey a success. One health philosophy is to focus either on Gorillas or Humans but Dr Gladys’s philosophy of focusing on both is a practical strategy. I am also trying to build a balance between tourism and conservation for the last 25 years.”

Dr Gladys shared anecdotes from her memoir ‘Walking With Gorillas’ with BBC presenter Claudia Hammond. She shared her experiences working in wildlife conservation and public health. She said, “You need to address human and wildlife health together to have holistic outcomes. One Health is being recognized in the conservation community as a viable way to achieve sustainable development. Conservation is about understanding that people are part of the equation.”

Welcome speech was given by Lawrence Zikusoka, Co-Founder, Conservation Through Public Health. Ndhego and Tendo Zikusoka read an excerpt from ‘Walking With Gorillas’.

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