Linking malaria and land use


Pilot study sites in (Left-Right) Sabang, Aceh, North Sumatra and North Kalimantan in Indonesia.

We contribute to a One Health project that evaluates monkey to human transmission of malaria parasites across Indonesia and agricultural and forestry land use change. The One Health approach recognises that the health of people, animals and the environment are interconnected.

Critical information regarding the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium knowlesi, an emerging malaria parasite of macaque monkeys in Southeast Asia, remains unknown. The parasite in particular affects agricultural workers with a workplace near forests and those engaging in activities associated with palm oil plantations and vegetation clearing.

The proportion of landscape and habitat fragmentation is a known predictor of Plasmodium knowlesi distribution in Malaysia.

Our contribution to the project entails the evaluation of agricultural and land use factors associated with zoonotic malaria transmission. For this purpose, we plan to work with agricultural household surveys and map agricultural fields and landscape fragmentation at the study sites in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

This project is led by the Menzies School of Health Research and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Project partners are the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in the Indonesia University of Sumatera Utara in Indonesia, James Cook University in Australia, the University of Melbourne in Australia, the University of Western Australia in Australia and the Ministry of Health in Indonesia.

Contact Katharina Waha for more information.

Header photo credit: Dr. Mae Melvin, USCDCP on Pixnio.