Rates of malaria in Brazil are significantly lower in areas of strictly protected forest than in deforested areas. This is the consensus of a study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last week examining the effects of ecosystem change on public health in Brazil.
Through analysis of 700 municipalities across the Brazilian Amazon, an international team of researchers compared disease instance in strictly protected areas, “sustainable use” reserves, indigenous territories, and areas impacted by roads and mining in an attempt to identify possible negative implications of altering natural ecosystems relating to public health.
While a number of diseases were analysed, the results were particularly notable for malaria. Areas where extraction, road development and mining are carried out displayed markedly higher rates of malaria than protected areas and indigenous territories, indicating that the removal of trees and increase in human presence are having a direct impact on the ability of mosquitos to breed and spread this vector-borne disease.
Amazon Malaria Report
However, this is not news to us here in Celestial Green Ventures. In fact as recently as September 2014, a report outlining the results of our own desktop study on the impacts of deforestation on malaria transmission was published on our website. The report examines the impact of deforestation on the prevalence of malaria transmission within the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting steps that could be taken to reduce the spread of the disease, and outlining the potential threat that continued deforestation poses to these control efforts.
Increases in the availability of breeding grounds, as well as a decrease in the prevalence of non-human vectors, are among the potential reasons cited for this increase in malaria transmission in deforested areas.
Public Health Risks
The analysis of implications for public health of deforestation in the Amazon come in the same week that the US Surgeon General warned that climate change could cost 57,000 lives every year through increases in disease.
For further details please see below for a link to our comprehensive report entitled ‘Study on the Impacts of Deforestation on Malaria Transmission.
Click the image to read about the original study on the impact of deforestation on malarial transmission in the Amazon conducted by Celestial Green Ventures.
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