ネパールにおけるマラリアに対する文化的・生物学的適応 [in Japanese] Cultural and Biological Adaptations to Malaria in Nepal [in Japanese]
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In Nepal the prevalence of malaria had been an important constraint on land use before the implementation of the Malaria Eradication Program during the 1950s and 1960s. In order to avoid the danger of malaria, the greater part of people inhabiting higher elevations were frightened to go to the lowlands, where it was endemic. But it should be noted that they utilized lands at lower elevations for agriculture even during the monsoon season, when the disease was rampant. Neverthless some minorities had been living ln the lowlands for a long time. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of cultural and biological adaptations to malaria in land use before the 1950s. The records of foreigners who traveled and stayed in Nepal from the 18th century to the beginning of 20th century give examples of adaptation. One such is the practice of commuting in the daytime to farm land located at lower elevations which were in fested with malaria from settlements at higher elevations during the monsoon season. People had been aware of the danger of infection at night, when the vector was active. The Winter Exodus of people from higher elevations to lowlands was another kind of cultural adaptation to malaria. They migrated regularly to Tarai for trade, wage labor, agriculture and stock raising. Hereditary anaemia such as sicklecell blood and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency were found at a high rate among the Tharus, a minority of Tarai who have been said to be immune from malaria. The other minorities of lower elevations also seem to have this kind of disease including thalassemia. Although these genes were unquestionably the source of their biological resistance to malaria, the production of antibodies after the infection seems to have had an important role as well. Concerning these cultural and biological adaptations, there are many subjects to be studied in the future. The research on hereditary anaemia is important not only for public health but also for the human biological study of the people concerned. Cultural adaptations also should be examined in relation to the effects of the Malaria Eradication Program.
- Bulletin of the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
Bulletin of the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University (2), 59-73, 1996-02-20