Occupational health and gorilla conservation in Rwanda

Robbie Ali, Mike Cranfield, Lynne Gaffikin, Tony Mudakikwa, Leon Ngeruka, Chris Whittier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The design and implementation of an employee health program for people who work with mountain gorillas in Rwanda is described. This program aims to improve worker health and to reduce human-to-gorilla transmission of infectious disease. The program covered approximately 111 workers, generally healthy men and women 25-45 years old, including essentially all people in Rwanda who have regular contact with gorillas. Initial assessment included a questionnaire, medical examination, and local tests. U.S. laboratory facilities were utilized to confirm some results and for serologic testing for zoonotic (simian) viruses. Initial interventions included STD/HIV prevention health education, tetanus immunization, and anthelminthic treatment. Local physicians continue to provide health services, including follow-up testing and treatment. Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP) veterinarians assist in planning and implementing continuing program components in collaboration with local health authorities and the other employing organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Keywords

  • Conservation medicine
  • Employee health program
  • Gorilla conservation
  • Interspecies intramission
  • Veterinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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  • Cite this

    Ali, R., Cranfield, M., Gaffikin, L., Mudakikwa, T., Ngeruka, L., & Whittier, C. (2004). Occupational health and gorilla conservation in Rwanda. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 10(3), 319-325. https://doi.org/10.1179/oeh.2004.10.3.319