11.02.2020. Forests worldwide are known to be rich in stories, legends and myths; places hosting unusual turns and transformations. As the most densely wooded part of Africa, the Congo Basin forest is definitely no exception. Many of its plants and trees hold cultural and spiritual values.
Does 'sustainability' mean, protecting the environment? By all means, yes. Then, harvesting trees according to its principles also means making sure the forests retain their ability to heal. With medicinal plants and trees. And with people whose vocation is, to heal.
In this story, Sustainable Hardwood from the Sangha forests empowers Annie Ayoko to take care of children's health.
The mortality rate for children treated at the IFO medical centre in Ngombé is estimated to be 3 times lower than the national average for Congo Brazzaville.
Creating the conditions to make treatment available in remote, isolated areas is not automatic. The sustainable business model that inspires IFO and the wood products that give it economic return - in short, sustainable hardwood - make those conditions possible.
A number of factors add up to the complexity: attracting skilled personnel such as Annie Ayoko, retaining them on site, building and maintaining much-needed infrastructure: roads, housing, transport; and, of course, finding reliable providers of much-needed medical equipment.
Earlier in 2019, when a national measles and rubella campaign kicked off in the country, Annie Ayoko rolled up her sleeves to ensure that indigenous children belonging to Baka tribes living around Ngombé would not miss out.
In a country which still knows higher mortality rates for children, this makes all the difference for isolated communities in remote areas.
Measles and rubella vaccination aims to reduce measles mortality and morbidity in children and eliminate the risk of fetal malformations, miscarriages and fetal death due to rubella.
The national initiative aimed to protect 2.2 million children aged 9 months to 14 years, i.e. 43% of the population. The campaign received technical and financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); and the World Health Organization (WHO).
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Schutzengelstr. 36, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82