Nepal P, Subedee A, Shakya H, Poudel S, Joshi S, Karki K, Bajracharya D, Prentiss T, Kaljee L, and Acharya Y. Protocol for a randomized controlled trial on community education and surveillance on antibiotics use among young children in Nepal. Contemp Clin Trials Commun 2023; 34:101177.
Contemp Clin Trials Commun
BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top ten threats to global health. There exists limited empirical evidence on effective approaches to address this threat. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), one of the primary drivers of AMR is easy access to antibiotics without prescriptions, in particular from community pharmacies. Interventions to reduce non-prescribed use of antibiotics and surveillance systems to track such usage are critically needed. This protocol describes a study that aims to test the effect of an educational intervention targeted to parents of young children on non-prescribed antibiotics consumption in Nepal and to track such consumption using a phone-based application.
METHODS: The study is a clustered randomized controlled trial, in which we randomly assign 40 urban wards of Kathmandu Valley to either treatment group or control group, and randomly select 24 households in each ward. Households in the treatment group will receive an education intervention consisting of an "AMR pitch" (an in-person interaction that lasts up to an hour) by community nurses, videos and text messages on AMR every two weeks, and a brochure. We will conduct a survey at baseline with the parents of children ages 6 months to 10 years and track consumption of antibiotics and health care use among these children for a period of 6 months using a phone-based application.
CONCLUSION: While the study will primarily inform future policy and programmatic efforts to reduce AMR in Nepal, the study-both the education intervention and the surveillance system-can serve as a prototype for tackling AMR in other similar settings.