Emerging Infectious Diseases: Concentrate on Ecology Restoration, Not Vaccines.

From deforestation to rising birth defects and vaccines – connecting the dots 

Sathish Krishnan

While it is true that the fruit bats are the hosts and carriers of these infectious diseases, it is important to understand the root of the problem. Rainforests are the natural habitat of the fruit bats. The fruit bats play a crucial role in pollination and regeneration of the rainforests. Globally, the rainforests are destroyed due to industrialization, mining, palm oil, tea production etc. This has resulted in the loss of the natural habitat of the fruit bats and many other wildlife species. The habitat loss has put these carriers (fruit bats) directly in contact with the humans causing the deadly outbreaks. Blame the man-made disasters and deforestation for the emerging infectious diseases, not the fruit bats.

Rather than addressing the root of the problem, let’s look at how the governments controlled by the multinational corporations react to these deadly outbreaks. Oh, yeah - larvicides and vaccines! After all, the pesticide and pharmaceutical industries eyes the outbreaks as golden opportunity to make money out of the viruses. 

With the rapid increase in deforestation and the emerging number of infectious diseases, it is much evident that larvicides and vaccines are not going to save the mankind from the deadly viruses. Preserving the forests and natural resources are the only way forward in combating the infectious diseases. The connection between forests and human health is not a rocket science. Industrialization, mining, tea and oil palm plantations in the rainforests have a negative impact on natural habitats and the entire forest ecosystem. The habitat damage and biodiversity loss have a negative impact on human health. Remember, protecting the forests not only protects the wildlife and rich biodiversity, but also the human lives. To protect the children from the vicious cycle of emerging infectious diseases and the vaccines, it is important to educate the children about the importance of forests, not the vaccines.