A study has shown that those who live in modern houses are 47% less likely to be infected with malaria than people living in traditional houses.
According to the research, modernising mud huts and other traditional housing could significantly cut the risk of malaria for people living in some of the highest risk areas of Africa, Asia and South America.
Speaking on the find, Steve Lindsay, a professor from Durham University in northern England who co-led the work said "improved housing has huge potential to reduce malaria transmission around the globe and to keep malaria at bay where we have eliminated it".
He also added that more modern and enclosed housing would also offer vital protection against several other dangerous infections since many of the world's major vector-borne diseases are transmitted indoors.
For their study, published in the Malaria Journal, Lindsay and co-researcher Lucy Tusting of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine reviewed 90 studies comparing malaria cases in modern houses with cases in traditional houses built with mud, stone, bamboo or wood walls; thatched, mud or wood roofs; and earth or wood floors.
Trusting said the results showing dramatically lower malaria risks for people living in modern houses, reinforcing how housing improvements should be an important pillar of public health.
The World Health Organization reports that some 600,000 people a year are killed by the Plasmodium falciparum form of malaria, with the vast majority of those deaths being among babies and children in sub-Saharan Africa.