Is Global Warming Likely to Cause an Increased Incidence of Malaria?



Nabi SA 1, Qader SS 2,3

1-Department of Community Medicine, Lund University, 2-Department of Surgery, Sunderby Hospital, LuleŁ‡, Sweden. 3Department of Surgery, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq

Libyan J Med AOP:090105


The rise in the average temperature of earth has been described as global warming which is mainly attributed to the increasing phenomenon of the greenhouse effect. It is believed that global warming can have several harmful effects on human health, both directly and indirectly. Since malaria is greatly influenced by climatic conditions because of its direct relationship with the mosquito population, it is widely assumed that its incidence is likely to increase in a future warmer world.
This review article discusses the two contradictory views regarding the association of global warming with an increased incidence of malaria. On one hand, there are many who believe that there is a strong association between the recent increase in malaria incidence and global warming. They predict that as global warming continues, malaria is set to spread in locations where previously it was limited, due to cooler climate. On the other hand, several theories have been put forward which are quite contrary to this prediction. There are multiple other factors which are accountable for the recent upsurge of malaria: for example drug resistance, mosquito control programs, public health facilities, and living standards.

Keywords: Malaria, Global warming, Greenhouse effect, Drug resistance, Control program