San Francisco Founder, Margaret L. Salmon, MD, announces plan to develop innovative medical resource for embattled African park rangers

San Francisco, Oct. 17, 2019 — InnovationsCZ, a new San Francisco/DRC-based global health nonprofit, announced today it is teaming with a national park and a conservation organization in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to design and deliver a first-of-its kind medical course for the central African nation’s park rangers, who face continuous threats from criminal animal-poaching gangs.

InnovationsCZ is partnering with Lomami National Park, home to some of the DRC’s greatest biodiversity, and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) to produce a comprehensive medical course based on Western best medical practices and local cultural practices. The material, which would provide immediate medical care to park rangers, will first be distributed in Lomami, created in 2016 in the heart of the DRC. Among other endangered species, the park is home to the great bonobo ape.  

 “These rangers are the natural world’s protectors,” said InnovationsCZ President Margaret L. Salmon, MD.  “We want to alleviate their suffering and save their lives.”

Within Lomami park, animals are frequent targets of poaching, often by criminal gangs. Park rangers who work to protect animal populations face danger daily. Many suffer traumatic injuries and illness. Because health-care systems in the DRC are almost in complete collapse due to the nation’s ongoing war, as well as security problems and lack of financial investment, park rangers often don’t get the care they need.

InnovationsCZ has already completed the first phase of the four-phase process, designing a situational survey of local health facilities to measure the gap between the need and resources available locally. The study was funded by the Mastercard Foundation. It is currently fundraising for the next two phases – to deliver a ranger medic course with experts, education and supplies and to develop a process to provide continuous feedback for future courses in order to improve and evolve.

InnovationsCZ is an award-winning nonprofit that specializes in collaboratively designing and implementing health improvements for communities in conflict.

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