End Rampant Deforestation to Combat Deadly Malaria

Target: Joseph Kabila, President, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Goal: Stop irresponsible deforestation practices which are contributing to significant rise in Malaria cases.

Rapid industrialization has given rise to increased deforestation in many developing countries around the world. Regions with heavy deforestation such as South America, east Asia and Africa are also under enhanced threat from infectious diseases such as malaria. A growing body of evidence indicates there may be a direct link between the two.

Malaria is one of the most common communicable diseases in the world, with over 200 million cases each year. The primary method of transmission in humans occurs through a bite from an infected mosquito. Deforestation creates conditions which are favorable for mosquito reproduction. For instance, increased sunlight warming standing water sources on the forest floor increases the success rate for breeding. A 2010 study conducted in Brazil found that felling four percent of the forests had resulted in an almost 50 percent rise in malaria cases.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo provides a glimpse at the danger of widespread deforestation. It is home to the world’s second largest tropical rainforest, which has seen millions of hectares removed in recent years to satisfy growing demand for timber and open land, fueled by urban expansion, mining, and industrialization. Malaria is a primary threat to public health. with over 6 million reported cases each year in a country of 77 million. Children are especially vulnerable to the disease and almost half of pediatric deaths in the Congo are from malaria-related causes.

Unchecked deforestation presents clear and present danger to public health in developing nations. Please sign the below petition urging that deforestation policies be formulated with a consideration for the health impacts such as increased malaria vulnerability.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Kabila,

I am writing to urge that you review current deforestation policy in the DRC. The Congo Basin rainforest has been heavily deforested in recent years, which may have contributed to the current malaria epidemic. Research has shown a direct connection between deforestation and malaria prevalence in other countries with a high concentration of rainforest such as Brazil.

As you are aware, almost 400 children die each day from malaria in the Congo. Please consider the impact on public health in future deforestation planning.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: JG Collum

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4 Comments

  1. Stop deforestation!

  2. END ALL LOGGING OF THE RAIN FOREST TO FIGHT MALARIA FOR GOOD.

  3. Malaria – destruction & weakening of a society – is this what you are aiming for?

    Nature’s revenge comes in many ways such as excessive rains & landslides, cholera and no food! People cannot eat currency! But the rich can always escape to the luxurious West.

  4. Deforestation is very bad for the planet — Deforestation is very bad for life — animal & human alike — STOP destroying our rain forests — something sustainable MUST be done about this problem created by greedy corporations who only care about their bottom line.

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