Co-trimoxazole (also known as Septrin) is a well-tolerated, inexpensive, and cost-effective antimicrobial that reduces the risk of pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and other infections among people living with HIV. Although considered a standard of HIV care in higher-income countries, access to Co-trimoxazole is inconsistent in lower-income countries. Limited awareness of the benefits of Co-trimoxazole use among health care providers and service recipients is a key barrier to its access and use(1).
Responding to this barrier, AIDSTAR-One developed provider and client educational tools to increase prescription and use of Co-trimoxazole for eligible individuals. The materials were based on the WHO guidelines and drafted with input from technical experts at USAID and CDC and from clinicians and behavior change specialists in Uganda. Between May and August 2012, AIDSTAR-One piloted the draft tools in Northern Uganda, seeking feedback from a range of stakeholders on the acceptability and appropriateness of the tools. Although the tools were well-received across all stakeholder groups, a few minor edits were recommended and have since been incorporated into the materials.
These tools are designed to meet the needs of both providers and clients, complementing in-country Co-trimoxazole guidelines. They include images that are easy to understand and were designed to be used in low-literacy settings. The tools targeting health providers emphasize the benefits of Co-trimoxazole, provide dosage information, and include details of eligibility and contraindications. The materials targeting clients (adults, children, and infants) depict the benefits of Co-trimoxazole, describe how and when Co-trimoxazole should be taken, and recommend when to seek care in the presence of side-effects.
The tools are inter-related and can be presented as a poster, as job aids for health workers, and as an informational take-home brochure for clients. The tools were designed to be easily adapted for use in any country and can be displayed at health care settings, in community locations, and/or used at the household level by community health workers, caregivers, or clients.