Unprecedented economic growth in Southeast Asia (SEA) has encouraged the expansion of rubber plantations. This land-use transformation is changing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Mature plantations provide ideal habitats for the mosquito vectors of malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. Migrant workers may introduce pathogens into plantation areas, most worryingly artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites. The close proximity of rubber plantations to natural forest also increases the threat from zoonoses, where new vector-borne pathogens spill over from wild animals into humans. There is therefore an urgent need to scale up vector control and access to health care for rubber workers. This requires an intersectoral approach with strong collaboration between the health sector, rubber industry, and local communities.
Keywords: Southeast Asia; dengue; malaria; mosquito-borne diseases; rubber plantation; vector control.
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