Human-induced deforestation may be causing an increase in malaria cases, according to a new study of 67 less developed, malaria-endemic countries
ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 11th Dec, 2017 ) :Human-induced deforestation may be causing an increase in malaria cases, according to a new study of 67 less developed, malaria-endemic countries.Nearly 130 million hectares of forest an area almost equivalent in size to South Africa have been lost since 1990, according to a report. Deforestation is not a natural phenomenon, but rather results predominantly from human activities, or anthropogenically, researchers said.
Researchers from Lehigh University in the US found that deforestation can impact malaria prevalence by several mechanisms, including increasing the amount of sunlight and standing water in some areas.In general, increasing standing water and sunlight is favourable for most species of Anopheles mosquitoes which are the key vector of malaria transmission, researchers said in the study published in the journal AIMS Environmental Science. Human-induced changes to the natural environment can have a powerful impact on malaria rates, said Kelly Austin from Lehigh University.
Researchers build upon evidence that patterns in climate change, deforestation, and other human-induced changes to the natural environment are amplifying malaria transmission. They used an analytic research strategy that allowed them to look at the causes of deforestation, in order to have a broader focus on the upstream or human-induced causes of land-use change that impact malaria vulnerabilities.Results suggested that rural population growth and specialisation in agriculture are two key influences on forest loss in developing nations. Deforestation from agriculture comes in part from food that is exported to more-developed countries, researchers said. In this way, consumption habits in countries like the US can be linked to malaria rates in developing nations,Austin said.