Population -> Deforestation -> Climate Change -> Malaria

Malaria “vectorial capacity was estimated to be 77.7% higher in the deforested site than in the forested site” in western Kenya according to a new study by Afrane and colleagues. Deforestation created micro-climates and micro-habitats. They concluded that “deforestation in the western Kenyan highlands could potentially increase malaria risk,” and unfortunately, “In African highlands where temperature is an important driving factor for malaria and the human population generally has little functional immunity.”

Generally, “Kenya’s forests are rapidly declining due to pressure from increased population and other land uses,” as explained by the World Rainforest Movement (WFM). The process has been long standing from including early establishment of large agricultural plantations in the last Century to continued agricultural expansion based on population growth and logging. WFM advocates for community involvement in forest conservation.

kfwg.gifKenya is making progress on reducing malaria deaths through successful LLIN and treatment efforts, but this may be offset if communities do not see the connection between malaria and their environment.  Intersectoral collaboration in malaria control is crucial so that gains in malaria intervention coverage are not counteracted through expanding endemic areas.

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