Socio-Epidemiological Features and Spatial Distribution of Malaria in an Area under Mining Activity in the Brazilian Amazon Region

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 2;18(19):10384. doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910384.

Abstract

Malaria is an acute febrile infectious disease that represents an important public health problem in the Brazilian amazon region. The present study described the socio-epidemiological and spatial characteristics of malaria in a population from the Tapajós mining areas, Pará, Brazilian Amazon. A cross-sectional study, including individuals from Itaituba city, an area under mining activity influence, was conducted. The geographic coordinates were obtained in the field using the Global Positioning System (GPS) Garmin 78csx; for spatial analysis, we used the Kernel Density Estimator with the application of scanning statistics with the SaTScan software. Of the 908 individuals, 311 were positive for malaria. Most of the malaria cases were associated with male individuals, gold miners and with a monthly income of 4-6 salaries. Binary logistic regression analysis demonstrated that gold miners were nearly five times more likely to acquire malaria. In addition, a context of risk for sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse and poor support conditions was observed, worsening the healthcare scenario in this endemic area for malaria. The spatial distribution of malaria cases is irregular in the municipality with hotspot areas located in the Amana Flona that coincide with areas of illegal mining and high human mobility. Finally, the presented socio-epidemiological and spatial distribution data may aid in the development of more effective control measures for malaria in the area.

Keywords: Amazonia; malaria; mining; spatial analysis.