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Linking Deforestation To Disease Essay

1702 words - 7 pages

Around the world exorbitant amounts of land are cleared for the purpose of human development. Land that was once forested and sloping is now flat and cleared for more humans to settle. This process of clearing forests and trees is known as deforestation. Deforestation occurs all over the globe as the increasing human population needs to expand the amount of land they use for living or farming. Our planet was once covered with trees and forests but now nearly half have disappeared with an estimated 16 million hectares that will continue to disappear each year. (Abrams p.1) While deforestation is definitely a problem experienced globally the top ten biggest culprits include: Honduras, Nigeria, The Philippines, Ghana, Indonesia, Nepal, Ecuador and Haiti with each of these countries clearing over 20% of their forest cover each year. (McDermott p.2). Each of the countries listed is considered a developing country and most are experiencing rapid population growth. This could explain their need to expand quickly into forested land in order to sustain their growing population without care of the possible environmental consequences.
While deforestation has a critical impact on the environment and ecosystems it can also have a
huge impact on public health of the people inhabiting these countries. With these drastic
environmental changes, there is more room for organisms that would normally be insignificant to thrive without being checked. A prominent example of this is the mosquito, a notorious vector of malaria.
Malaria is a disease characterized by fever and flu like illness that according to the CDC “if not treated can lead to jaundice, kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death” (CDC p.2. There are four types of malaria: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae with the most common type being plasmodium falciparum. (CDC p.1) ).. This disease can only be transmitted by an interaction of blood as the parasite lives in the red blood cells of the infected host individual. This can be due to blood transfusions, sharing of syringes or by its common vector, the Anopheles mosquito. Because of its vector being a mosquito malaria is common in areas with warm temperatures and causes the most damage in poor developing nations. The regions that experience the most cases of malaria include: Sub- Saharan Africa, Asia, South America and low altitudes in Central America (MFI p.1). The regions where there aren’t large amounts of malaria cases are in part because of climate and partly because of the more developed nations implementing aggressive malaria eradication plans. These eradication plans cornerstone is through its aggressive attempt to rid the area of the anopheles mosquito, thus virtually eliminating the spread of malaria and cases seen.
. The parasites that cause malaria rely on a human host in order to reproduce and thrive. The vector, mosquitos in this case, are simply the means by which the parasite finds...

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