Improved housing for migratory rice farmers...

In the News

Study establishes link between gender, extramarital affairs and HIV

Dar es Salaam. A new Ifakara Health Institute study has found “a significant association between lifetime (proxy) extramarital affairs and HIV infection among women only,” with the risk being significantly …

IHI names winners of research, innovation fund

[Right-Left] Getrud, Beatrice, Theckla, and Tutu.Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) has named recipients of the 2017/18 Director’s Research and Innovation Fund. This is an internal funding mechanism aimed to support specific …

Recent Projects

Development of a new tool for malaria mosquito surveillance to improve vector control

Malaria transmission is influenced not only by vector abundance, but as well by demographic traits such as vector species and age structure, as these influence the intensity by which the …

Demonstrating complete disruption of residual malaria transmission by eliminating Anopheles funestus mosquitoes from rural Tanzanian villages

In rural south-eastern Tanzania, where malaria prevalence has reduced by >60% since 2000, low-to-moderate transmission still persists despite very high coverage with long-lasting insecticidal bednets. Like in most residual transmission …

Portable exposure-free huts to protect itinerant rice farmers from mosquito-borne illnesses: reducing disease and improving productivity

Migratory rice farmers in rural Tanzania often spend weeks or months in their distant rice fields tending to their crops. Usually, they bring with them young children below school-going age. While there, they live in semi-open structures, and are exposed to high densities of mosquito bites. The farmers also lack access to organized health care while in their distant rice field.

shelters-for-itinerant-rice-farmers-2In this project we are developing and testing portable mosquito-proof huts that are: 1) easy to transport and install, 2) large enough to accommodate an average itinerant rice farming family, 3) well ventilated and comfortable, and 4) have basic reproducible architecture that can be manufactured and marketable locally. We also explore practical ways in which this portable hut technology can be implemented in the rice farming communities in low- income areas. The research also includes: 1) an initial entomological assessment to quantify and compare actual mosquito bite exposure between the temporary structures currently used by these farmers and regular houses used in their home villages. 2) A sociological and anthropological assessments of views, opinions, experiences and behaviours of the itinerant rice farmers regarding mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria, and their preferred options of controlling such illnesses and mosquito bites,  3) Observations to compare microclimatic conditions and indicators of comfort (e.g. temperature and humidity inside the prototype huts and current farm structures) and 4) assessment of community perspectives towards these prototypes and exploration of suitable financing mechanisms that can guarantee regular manufacture, supply and effectiveness of this technology, at local community level.

improved-housing-for-rice-farmersAt the end of this project, we aim to have a fully functional prototype of portable mosquito-proof huts that meet the desirable characteristics and preferences of targeted users, and can reduce mosquito-biting exposure by at least 80%.

Lead Scientists:

Johnson K. Swai

Fredros Okumu



Elastic Products Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Tanzania.


Grand Challenges Canada

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© Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), 2016