Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
people and health and pollution
Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
Population Pressures <  
Food and Agriculture <  
Reproductive Health <  
Health and Pollution <  
Coasts and Oceans <  
Renewable Energy <  
Poverty and Trade <  
Climate Change <  
Green Industry <  
Eco Tourism <  
Biodiversity <  
Mountains <  
Forests <  
Water <  
Cities <  
Global Action <  

   overview | newsfile | books | films | links | factfile | features | glossary 
health and pollution > factfile > insect-borne diseases

Insect-borne diseases

Posted: 30 Jul 2004

Diseases carried by insects and other vectors affect more than 700 million people every year, and are considered the most sensitive to climatic and environment conditions.

  • Malaria, the best-known vector-borne disease, kills more people than any other communicable disease except TB. It occurs in more than 90 countries inhabited by 2.4 billion people.

  • There are at least 300 million acute cases of malaria every year, resulting in more than a million deaths, 90 per cent of them in Africa.

  • Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds, most of them in Africa. In sheer numbers, malaria kills more people than AIDS.

  • Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than $12 billion every year in lost GDP, even though it could be controlled for a fraction of that sum.

  • The spread of malaria is linked with activities such as road building, mining, logging, new agricultural and irrigation projects (particularly in frontier areas), the disintegration of health services, armed conflicts and mass movement of refugees.

  • Dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, currently threatens 2.5 billion people in more than 100 countries.

  • The two primary mosquito carriers of dengue have adapted from their natural forest environments, where they breed in tree holes containing rainwater, to the urban environment where they breed in drains, water cans, pots and bottles.

  • An estimated 50 million people are infected by dengue annually, and the disease causes about 25,000 deaths.

  • Other major insect-borne diseases include yellow fever (on the increase because of deforestation and urbanisation), leishmaniasis (over 12 million people infected), sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.


Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

© People & the Planet 2000 - 2007
Wilton International, Teeside, England: one of the largest petrochemicals complexes in Europe. Photo: Ian Britton/FreeFoto.com
picture gallery
printable version
email a friend
Latest factfile

For more details of how you can help, click here.

   overview | newsfile | books | films | links | factfile | features | glossary 
designed & powered by tincan ltd