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BabyGel pilot: a pilot cluster randomised trial of the provision of alcohol handgel to postpartum mothers to prevent neonatal and young infant infection-related morbidity in the community.

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Ditai, J, Abeso, J, Odeke, N M, Mobbs, N, Dusabe-Richards, John, Mudoola, M, Carrol, E D, Olupot-Olupot, P, Storr, J, Medina-Lara, A, Gladstone, M, Faragher, E B and Weeks, A D (2019) 'BabyGel pilot: a pilot cluster randomised trial of the provision of alcohol handgel to postpartum mothers to prevent neonatal and young infant infection-related morbidity in the community.'. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, Vol 5, Issue 9, e49.

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Abstract

Background
Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is widely used in both health and social facilities to prevent infection, but it is not known whether supplying it for regular perinatal use can prevent newborn sepsis in African rural homes. Our study piloted a cluster randomised trial of providing ABHR to postpartum mothers to prevent neonatal infection-related morbidity in the communities.
Methods
We conducted a pilot parallel cluster randomised controlled trial across ten villages (clusters) in rural Eastern Uganda. Pregnant women of over 34 weeks' gestation were recruited over a period of 3 months. Both clusters received the standard of care of antenatal health education, Maama Kit, and clinic appointments. In addition, women in the intervention villages received ABHR, instructions on ABHR use, a poster on the 'three moments of hand hygiene', and training. We followed up each mother-baby pair for 3 months after birth and measured rates of consent, recruitment, and follow-up (our target rate was more than 80%). Other measures included ABHR use (the acceptable use was more than four times a day) and its mode of distribution (village health workers (VHWs) or pharmacy), acceptability of study protocol and electronic data capture, and the use of WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) tool to screen for newborn infection.
Results
We selected 36% (10/28) of villages for randomisation to either intervention or control. Over 12 weeks, 176 pregnant women were screened and 58.5% (103/176) were eligible. All, 100% (103/103), eligible women gave consent and were enrolled into the trial (55 intervention and 48 control). After birth, 94.5% (52/55) of mothers in the intervention and 100% (48/48) of mothers in the control villages were followed up within 72 h. Most, 90.9% (50/55), of the mothers in the intervention villages (96.2% of live births) and 95.8% (46/48) of mothers in the control villages (95.9% of live births) were followed up at 3 months. In intervention villages, the average hand rub use was 6.6 times per day. VHWs accounted for all ABHR stock, compared to the pharmacy that could not account for 5 l of ABHR. The screening tool was positive for infection among a third of babies, i.e. 29.2% (14/48) in the intervention villages versus 31.4% (16/51) in the control villages.VHWs completed the first four questions of IMCI screening tool with ease and accuracy. There were no adverse reactions with the ABHR.
Conclusion
It is feasible to conduct a cluster-randomised controlled trial (cRCT) of the provision of ABHR to postpartum mothers to prevent neonatal infection-related morbidity in the community in resource-poor settings. Our results indicate that home recruitment promotes excellent follow-up and retention of participants in community trials. The intervention was safe. This pilot study informed the substantial changes necessary in the larger cRCT, including a change in the primary outcome to a composite outcome considering multiple methods of infection detection. A large BabyGel cluster randomised controlled trial is now required.

Trial registration

ISRCTN67852437, registered March 02, 2015.

Trial funding

Medical Research Council/WellcomeTrust/DfID (Global Health Trials Scheme).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 240 Disinfection. Disinfestation. Pesticides (including diseases caused by)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 500 Postnatal care
WS Pediatrics > By Age Groups > WS 420 Newborn infants. Neonatology
WS Pediatrics > By Age Groups > WS 421 Diseases of newborn infants
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-019-0432-7
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 08:33
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/10617

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