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  • Writer's pictureSalisa L.

Rebecca Inglis

Improving the safety of healthcare workers and the medical care of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in Laos, using a behaviour change science approach

Although most research on COVID19 is currently directed towards treatment studies and vaccine development in the longer term, probably the most important advance to curb the pandemic is better prevention of infection. Health care workers (HCW) are at high risk, and a high rate of infection in HCW could lead to breakdown in health care- particularly in lower income settings where structures are already weak. Time is rapidly running out to assess preventive interventions in a controlled manner that will provide useful data. Conventionally a double blind trial would require purchase of API, appropriate taste masking and formulation work, preparation of active drug and placebo and blister packing. Even if API is available this is currently estimated to take 9 weeks. To accelerate placebo controlled chemoprevention trials we propose to purchase already formulated 1. Chloroquine 2. Nitazoxanide 3. If necessary antiretrovirals, and prepare them for placebo controlled trials. This application is to hire a local Thai producer to support coating and blister packing of existing drugs. This will be valuable immediately and in the longer term for international placebo controlled trials.

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