In June 2022, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) officially began in the DRC with 148 participants recruited from four villages. Two villages from Bandundu (Caravane and 3 Rivière) and the other two from Kinshasa (Bu and Nsele). Each participant received a:
• budget smartphone using our Mozzwear application (mosquito sensor)
• new SIM card for the sensor
• guidance booklet on how to use the sensor when it comes to recording and uploading mosquito sound data
• new mosquito HumBug bed net with a pocket where the mosquito sensor will be placed
• wooden ‘T’ structure that holds bed nets
The main aim of the RCT is to explore whether the provision of monetary incentive (in the form of airtime credit), which is provided with the help of a local mobile money company, will encourage people in local communities to collect mosquito sound data using the Humbug sensor over a long period of time.
The study requires each participant to switch on the sensor before getting into bed, before they go to sleep, and to turn it off the next morning and upload the recorded data. All participants have been asked to record and upload mosquito sound data once a week for four months. Participants in the monetary incentive (airtime) trial group will receive their monetary incentive via a local mobile money company at the end of each month.
The RCT will help us understand whether incentives improve local community collection of mosquito sound data using smartphones. As a result, each village was randomised in two trial groups (one intervention, and one control). Once randomisation was completed, all 148 participants were provided with training sessions on how to use the following items required for the RCT:
• humbug sensor
• Mozzwear application on the sensor (including the actions required to record and upload mosquito sound data)
• installing the humbug bed net on the wooden ‘T’ structure
After the training sessions, participants then practised using the Mozzwear application on the sensor themselves and their feedback was very positive. All the participants felt that the Mozzwear application was easy to use and that they were excited to be part of the RCT. Surveys will be conducted with all study participants to explore their overall experiences of taking part in the trial, of using the sensor and the bed net. From their responses, we would also like to know whether they would upload and use the Mozzwear application on their personal smartphones after the trial.