Community Vulnerability to Malaria in Madre de Dios, Peru
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Construction of a highway and artisanal gold mining have contributed to population and land use changes within the department of Madre de Dios, Peru. Such changes are expected to alter malaria rates due to impacts on vector habitat and human exposure. Vulnerability, as defined by the possibility of bereavement of a physical good or abstract state, is useful for understanding which communities are most likely to be adversely impacted by hazards such as malaria. A model defining susceptibility (SUS) and lack of resilience (LOR) was used to create an index of vulnerability to malaria for 40 communities in Madre de Dios. Indicators of SUS and LOR were developed from household and community data and combined into a final vulnerability index score. Vulnerability scores ranged between 0.13 and 0.31 with a mean of 0.21. Communities were grouped according to standard deviations from the mean. The most vulnerable communities (>1.5 standard deviations from mean) were located in the southern portion of the study area. When the dimension scores were compared for all communities, scores were generally higher in the susceptibility dimension than in the lack of resilience dimension. Examination of the indicator scores of individual communities revealed that drivers of vulnerability vary across the department. Therefore, targeted interventions addressing specific aspects of vulnerability may be useful. Finally, a predicted vulnerability surface was created for a 10 km buffer surrounding the Interoceanic Highway in Madre de Dios.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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