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An Investigation of the Relationship between Depth to Groundwater and Malaria Prevalence, Punjab, Pakistan

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Donnelly, M. J.; Birley, Martin H.; Konradsen, Flemming
Date: 1997
Agency: International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: IIMI Working Paper, no. 40
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4896
Sector: Social Organization
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): groundwater
health care
pest control
Abstract: "The aim of the study was to assess the accuracy of routinely gathered health center statistics and depth to groundwater maps and thereby determine their suitability for investigating the linkages between depth to groundwater and malaria. The study was conducted using a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews, and visits to relevant institutions. It was conducted in the district of Bhawal Nagar, Punjab, Pakistan between October and December 1995, and it revealed that less than 10 of the actual cases are recorded in government malaria statistics due to low attendence at government health facilities. This low attendence is likely to be attributable to poor medical supplies and staffing of government institutions. Private facilities are the preffered institutions for treatment of malaria with 63 of the population seeking treatment exclusively at these facilities. Since data relating to Malaria were deemed too poor to support any further analysis, Pyrexias of Unknown Origin (PUO) were used as an indicator of malaria. The linkages between PUO, depth to groundwater, and percentage land under rice production were investigated. No significant correlation was found between the independent variables and the dependent variable. It was concluded that data gathered at health facilities are too unrepresentative to support meaningful analysis. Any future studies in this area that seek to investigate the linkages between irrigated agriculture and health should be based upon primary data collection. It is recommended that the association between land use and adult mosquito biting density is determined in the next phasse of the study."

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