People living in the vicinity of dams in Africa will likely see a doubling of the odds they will get malaria because of climate change. Some 25 million people will be at increased risk by 2080, according to a new study published in Malaria Journal. The construction of dams across Africa has helped improve food security and spur development, but they may pose a public health problem.
“While dams clearly bring many benefits, the present study confirmed that the role of climate change on malaria around dams will fundamentally alter the current impact of dams on malaria,” said biologist Solomon Kibret of the University of California, the paper’s lead author, in a statement. “Given the impending magnification in the threat of mosquito-borne infections, there is urgent need for proactive measures that mitigate the health risks of today and tomorrow.”