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Studying Land Cover Changes in a Malaria-Endemic Cambodian District: Considerations and Constraints

Abstract : Malaria control is an evolving public health concern, especially in times of resistance to insecticides and to antimalarial drugs, as well as changing environmental conditions that are influencing its epidemiology. Most literature demonstrates an increased risk of malaria transmission in areas of active deforestation, but knowledge about the link between land cover evolution and malaria risk is still limited in some parts of the world. In this study, we discuss different methods used for analysing the interaction between deforestation and malaria, then highlight the constraints that can arise in areas where data is lacking. For instance, there is a gap in knowledge in Cambodia about components of transmission, notably missing detailed vector ecology or epidemiology data, in addition to incomplete prevalence data over time. Still, we illustrate the situation by investigating the evolution of land cover and the progression of deforestation within a malaria-endemic area of Cambodia. To do so, we investigated the area by processing high-resolution satellite imagery from 2018 (1.5 m in panchromatic mode and 6 m in multispectral mode) and produced a land use/land cover map, to complete and homogenise existing data from 1988 and from 1998 to 2008 (land use/land cover from high-resolution satellite imagery). From these classifications, we calculated different landscapes metrics to quantify evolution of deforestation, forest fragmentation and landscape diversity. Over the 30-year period, we observed that deforestation keeps expanding, as diversity and fragmentation indices globally increase. Based on these results and the available literature, we question the mechanisms that could be influencing the relationship between land cover and malaria incidence and suggest further analyses to help elucidate how deforestation can affect malaria dynamics.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 2, 2020 - 4:23:12 PM
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Anaïs Pepey, Marc Souris, Amélie Vantaux, Serge Morand, Dysoley Lek, et al.. Studying Land Cover Changes in a Malaria-Endemic Cambodian District: Considerations and Constraints. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2020, 12 (18), pp.2972. ⟨10.3390/RS12182972⟩. ⟨hal-02986060⟩

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