The integration of the complex human and animal health issues that come as part and parcel of developing massive parks that straddle international boundaries has just received a helping hand. Sanparks has appointed Dr Nichola Shongwe as a policy integrator for transfrontier conservation areas with a focus on human livelihoods, animal and systems health linkages.
The need for a policy integrator was identified by Ahead (Animal health for the environment and development), a multi-disciplinary task team that has been discussing the special health needs of transfrontier conservation areas ever since the World Parks Congress in Durban in 2003.
According to the Ahead newsletter, Dr Shongwe is a medical doctor with a postgraduate diploma in child health. After working as a physician, she broadened her horizons with business management and brand management studies, as well as visual arts and she has also worked in television.
As the new manager of conservation and human livelihoods, Dr Shongwe will be working on the Ahead programme, which has a special focus on where human activities meet wildlife, and the creation of a healthy environment for humans, livestock and wild animals.