Fredros Okumu

In the News

Vacancy: Environmental Scientist required (1 post)

(Dar es Salaam, July 23 2019) IHI is looking for an experienced Environmental Scientist with analytical chemistry skills to join the Bohemia project team around November/December this year. Please note …

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Recent Projects

Calcium supplementation on pregnant women

Project summary This is a trial-based study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It intends to generate evidence for decision-making on the potential non-inferiority of a lower dose …

Sustainable, Healthy, Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods

The Sustainable, Healthy, Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods is an exciting project in which IHI works with a consortium of partners from Asia and Africa to 1) develop capacity for improved …

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, a Welcome Trust Intermediate Research Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2014-2019), and most recently, a Howard Hughes-Gates International Research Scholarship (2018-2023). He is currently a co-chair of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda consultative group on Tools for Elimination, an Associate Editor of the journal, Parasites & Vectors, 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 a Young Affiliate of the African Academy of Sciences. Fredros was also named among the 2016 Top 100 Global Thinkers by the US-based Foreign Policy Magazine.

View Dr. Okumu’s Research Interests and Publications


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

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

Anopheles funestus rearing and gene flow studies

Health impact assessment for engaging natural resource extraction Projects in sustainable development in producer regions

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