A method for estimating the deforestation timeline in rural settlements in a scenario of malaria transmission in frontier expansion in the Amazon Region

The Malaria Frontier Hypothesis (MFH) is the current model for predicting malaria emergence in the Brazilian Amazon. It has two important dimensions, ‘settlement time’ and ‘malaria incidence’, and its prediction are: malaria incidence peaks five years after the initiation of human settlement and declines towards zero after an estimated 10 years. Although MFH is currently accepted, it has been challenged recently. Herein, we described a novel method for estimating settlement timeline by using remote sensing technology integrated in an open-software geographic information system. Surprisingly, we found that of the majority of the rural settlements with high malaria incidence are more than 10 years old.