Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Health

Keywords

Health, malaria, gold miners, mining, gold mining, Amazon, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Colombia, transborder cooperation, regional cooperation, Latin America, Guiana shield, gold mines, mobile population

Description

“Purpose of Review Following Paraguay and Argentina, several countries from the Amazon region aim to eliminate malaria. To achieve this, all key affected and vulnerable populations by malaria, including people working on gold mining sites, must be considered. What is the situation of malaria in these particular settings and what are the challenges? This literature review aims to compile knowledge to answer these questions. Recent Findings The contexts in which gold miners operate are very heterogeneous: size and localization of mines, links with crime, administrative status of the mines and of the miners, mobility of the workers or national regulations. The number of malaria cases has been correlated with deforestation (Brazil, Colombia), gold production (Colombia), gold prices (Guyana), or location of the mining region (Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana). The burden of malaria in gold mines differs between territories: significant in Guyana, French Guiana, or Venezuela; lower in Brazil. Although Plasmodium vivax causes 75% of malaria cases in the Americas, P. falciparum is predominant in several gold mining regions, especially in the Guiana Shield. Because of the remoteness from health facilities, self-medication with under-the-counter antimalarials is frequent. This consti- tutes a significant risk for the emergence of new P. falciparum parasites resistant to antimalarial drugs. Summary Because of the workers’ mobility, addressing malaria transmission in gold mines is essential, not only for miners, but also to prevent the (re-)emergence of malaria. Strategies among these populations should be tailored to the context because of the heterogeneity of situations in different territories. The transnational environment favoring malaria transmission also requires transborder and regional cooperation, where innovative solutions should be considered and evaluated."

Comments

Additional Authors: Alice Sanna, Stephen Vreden, and Martha Suarez-Mutis

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Malaria in Gold Miners in the Guianas and the Amazon: Current Knowledge and Challenges

“Purpose of Review Following Paraguay and Argentina, several countries from the Amazon region aim to eliminate malaria. To achieve this, all key affected and vulnerable populations by malaria, including people working on gold mining sites, must be considered. What is the situation of malaria in these particular settings and what are the challenges? This literature review aims to compile knowledge to answer these questions. Recent Findings The contexts in which gold miners operate are very heterogeneous: size and localization of mines, links with crime, administrative status of the mines and of the miners, mobility of the workers or national regulations. The number of malaria cases has been correlated with deforestation (Brazil, Colombia), gold production (Colombia), gold prices (Guyana), or location of the mining region (Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana). The burden of malaria in gold mines differs between territories: significant in Guyana, French Guiana, or Venezuela; lower in Brazil. Although Plasmodium vivax causes 75% of malaria cases in the Americas, P. falciparum is predominant in several gold mining regions, especially in the Guiana Shield. Because of the remoteness from health facilities, self-medication with under-the-counter antimalarials is frequent. This consti- tutes a significant risk for the emergence of new P. falciparum parasites resistant to antimalarial drugs. Summary Because of the workers’ mobility, addressing malaria transmission in gold mines is essential, not only for miners, but also to prevent the (re-)emergence of malaria. Strategies among these populations should be tailored to the context because of the heterogeneity of situations in different territories. The transnational environment favoring malaria transmission also requires transborder and regional cooperation, where innovative solutions should be considered and evaluated."

 
 

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