Fredros Okumu

In the News

Ifakara scientist explains why ending Tuberculosis requires better diagnostics

Ending tuberculosis through better diagnostics Author: Dr. Frederick Haraka, MD Yes, to end tuberculosis (TB), we need better diagnostic tools! TB is among the deadliest diseases in the world. In …

Study: 12% of people living with HIV in rural Tanzania have hypertension

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (March 9, 2017). IHI Research Scientist Dr Kim Mwamelo presents findings of the study in Boston, US, last year at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic …

Recent Projects

Assessing the progress towards rabies elimination from Pemba Island, Tanzania

Rabies is a deadly disease endemic in dog populations across Africa. Although rabies can be eliminated through mass dog vaccination, there has been little investment in dog vaccination in Africa …

Engaging pastoralists in controlling malaria mosquitoes in their communities

The project is aimed at applying pastoralists’ knowledge to find water bodies during the dry season and accurately identify aquatic habitats that can be treated with larvicide pyriproxyfen (PPF) to …

Fredros Okumu

Director of Science

Dr Fredros Okumu is the IHI Director of Science. He originally trained as a Public Health Officer in the College of Health Sciences at the Moi University in Kenya. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Parasitology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and a second Master’s degree in Geo-information Science, Earth Observation and Environmental Modeling from Lund University, Sweden.

In 2012, Dr Okumu earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Infectious Tropical Diseases from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is currently working towards a Master of Business Administration in International Health Management at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland.

Dr Okumu is also an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Visiting Researcher at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and a honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK.

Since 2008, Dr Okumu has been studying human-mosquito interactions and developing new techniques to complement existing malaria interventions and accelerate efforts towards elimination. His other interests include quantitative ecology of residual malaria vectors; mathematical simulations to predict effectiveness of interventions, improved housing for marginalised communities, and prevention of child malnutrition.

Dr Okumu was awarded by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene the Young Investigator Award in 2009 and a Welcome Trust Intermediate Research Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2014-2019). He is currently a co-chair of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda consultative group on Tools for Elimination and a Co-Chair of the WHO Vector Control Working Group on New Tools for Malaria Vector Control.

He has also participated in various international expert panels on a wide range of subjects including, genetically modified mosquitoes and ivermectin for vector control, and the NEPAD Agency of the African Union’s agenda on biotechnology in Africa. He was inducted in 2016 as the Young Affiliate of the African Academy of Sciences. Fredros was also recently named among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2016 by the US-based Foreign Policy Magazine.

View Dr. Okumu’s Research Interests and Publications


Videographic analysis of mosquito behaviours around humans and mosquito traps

Assessing malaria infections among migratory rice farmers in a residual transmission setting in rural south eastern Tanzania

Fighting insect-borne diseases and enriching urban agricultural land by using molasses from sugar factories

Phase III evaluation of DawaPlus 2.0 bed nets: biological efficacy, fabric integrity, survivorship and community acceptability

Investigating the magnitude and drivers of residual malaria transmission in Zanzibar

Control of malaria vectors by the auto-dissemination of insecticides

Evaluation of the Push-Pull strategies for the control of outdoor biting mosquitoes

Using human biomass and its spatial distribution to predict mosquito-borne disease transmission patterns

Low-cost mosquito repellent sandals to protect against Zika, dengue, chikungunya and malaria

Targeting mosquito swarms to control outdoor malaria transmission in Tanzania

Measuring residual malaria transmission in East and West Africa

Targeting residual malaria vectors in areas where bed nets are already widely used

Improved housing for migratory rice farmers in south-eastern Tanzania

© Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), 2016