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De-forestation increases malaria rates – Study

A study in the South American country of Brazil has found out that a small reduction in forest cover can increases malaria incidences to nearly 50 percent because open spaces and open water pools provide ideal places for mosquito breeding.

Mosquito which spreads Malaria disease

The study which was conducted among the Brazilian communities in the World’s biggest rainforest of Amazon found out that a 4 percent change in forest cover increases malaria incidence to 48 per cent.

The authors, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the United States, used high-resolution satellite data of land cover from 54 Brazilian health districts bordering Peru from 1996 to 2006. They also examined health data collected in the same areas in 2006.

The lead researcher Sarah Olson appealed to governments and development partners to always consider weighing the human health risks of deforestation before cutting down forests.

This is an interesting study which can be used to help fight malaria in Uganda. Uganda has the highest Malaria infection rates in Africa according to Malaria Consortium Uganda.

Official statistics from World Health Organization indicate that there were over 12 million reported cases of malaria and nearly 50,000 reported cases of malaria deaths in 2007 in Uganda.

According to Uganda Ministry of Health, Malaria disease mostly affects pregnant women and children.

A video about the story of a 13 year old Ugandan girl who was diagnosed with malaria

Also see

Uganda environmentalist supports spraying DDT to curtail malaria

Uganda Health Minister says Malaria prevalence to reduce by 2015

Uganda pregnant women to receive seven million mosquito nets

Solomon Akugizibwe, Ultimate Media

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