On Friday 23rd April 2021, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) officially began with 148 participants recruited from four villages in Tanzania, Kivukoni, Minepa, Mavimba and Milola. 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 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. Mosquito recordings and uploading of these recordings will be conducted at least once a week for four months.
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 four trial groups (three interventions, and one control). The public randomisation ceremony took place in Minepa, where 10 representatives and village leaders from the four villages were present. As part of the ceremony, the names of the trial groups were written on pieces of paper, placed in a bag and shuffled. A representative from each village then drew a piece of paper at random from the bag, after which, she/he were allocated to the corresponding trial group. As a result, Kivukoni was allocated to airtime credit and SMS reminders group; Mavimba was allocated to SMS reminders only group; Milola was allocated to airtime credit only group and Minepa was allocated to the control group.
Once randomisation was completed, all 148 participants were provided with intense 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 and focus group discussions 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.