Improved hygiene at birth with Byotrol, an innovative sanitizer and disinfectant
Does hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers address the well-documented need for clean birth practices? Clean birth practices, including hand hygiene of birth attendants and use of clean or disinfected instruments to cut and tie an umbilical cord, are of critical importance. Evidence suggests that hand hygiene practices among birth attendants and disinfection of birthing equipment and surfaces are not always optimal. Often water and soap or alcohol-based hand rubs are not available. Motivating birth attendants to routinely practice hand hygiene is not always easy. The use of alcohol-based hand rubs is often not well received by facility-based birth attendants because of skin irritation caused by the high alcohol concentration in the products. However, low alcohol concentration presents limited efficacy. A new sanitizer and disinfectant, Byotrol, delivers broad-spectrum, long-lasting, antimicrobial control in a water-based foaming formulation, making it potentially more acceptable to providers. Integrating the use of Byotrol in facility-based birthing can lead to cleaner, safer, and more comfortable birthing environments for mothers, infants, and attendants. Under this two-year seed grant, we will evaluate the use of Byotrol versus standard practice and World Health Organization-recommended formulations for hand hygiene and device and surface disinfection in low-resource settings. Study endpoints will include provider acceptability, attendant compliance, antimicrobial efficacy, and feasibility of integrating the Byotrol product into the health system. Byotrol offers a plausible way to lower neonatal and maternal mortality due to infection and could be easily integrated into a health systems solution set.