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Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2013;44 Suppl 1:166-200; discussion 306-7.

Migration and malaria.

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Migration is an important global issue as poorly managed migration can result in a diversity of problems, including an increase in the transmission of diseases such as malaria. There is evidence to suggest that malaria is no longer a forest-dependent disease and may largely be affected by population movements, mostly to agricultural areas. While internal and transnational migration has different legal implications in most countries, both types of migration occur for the same reasons; economic and/ or safety. Although migration in itself is not a definitive risk for malaria, several factors can put, migrants and local communities alike, in vulnerable situations. In particular, infrastructure and rural development, deforestation for logging and economic farming, political movements, and natural disasters are some of the major factors that push and pull people in and out of malaria-endemic areas. Therefore, understanding the changing socio-environmental situation as well as population movements and their associated risks for malaria infection, is critical for malaria control, containment, and elimination. Efforts to address these issues should include advocacy, mapping exercises and expanded/ strengthened surveillance to also include migrant health information systems. Malaria related information, prevention measures, and early diagnosis and appropriate treatment should be made easily accessible for migrants regardless of their migration status; not only to ensure that they are equipped with appropriate knowledge and devices to protect themselves, but also to ensure that they are properly diagnosed and treated, to prevent further transmission, and to ensure that they are captured by the surveillance system.

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