R. Geigy Foundation-Award 2004,
Country: Tanzania, born: 1966
"To fight malaria successfully, a thorough understanding of the Anopheles vector and its ecology is needed. The mosquitoes' flexibility and adaptability poses a great challenge to us every day."
The Kilombero District in rural Tanzania is probably one of the best-studied malaria areas worldwide. This is mainly due to Japhet Kihonda whose studies on the behaviour of malaria mosquitoes were the basis for a several publications. As the person responsible for the entomological field work of the present Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Kihonda studied central questions of mosquitoes' susceptibility to malaria and the seasonal transmission of the disease from mosquito to man. Japhet Kihonda's intimate knowledge of Anopheles mosquito biology is not the result of university training. He acquired it practically during many years of fieldwork. Before his appointment to IHI, he earned his living catching fish in the Kilombero river. It is not his exemplary career as a researcher, but in fact Kihonda‘s enthusiasm for entomology, a scientific field that attracts comparatively little attention, that made him indispensable to the Ifakara Health Institute and to malaria research in Tanzania.