Background: Maternal undernutrition is critical in the etiology of poor perinatal outcomes and accounts for 20% of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births. High levels of food insecurity, antenatal undernourishment, and childhood undernutrition necessitate the supplementation of fortified balanced energy protein (BEP) during pregnancy in low-income settings especially with scarce literature available in this subject. Hence, this paper extensively covers the protocol of such a trial conducted in an urban slum of Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: The trial is community-based, open-labelled, four-arm, and randomized controlled that will include parallel group assignments with a 1:1:1:1 allocation ratio in low-income squatter settlements in urban Karachi, Pakistan. All pregnant women (PW), if identified between > 8 and < 19 weeks of gestation based on ultrasound, will be offered routine antenatal care (ANC) counseling and voluntary participation in the trial after written informed consent. A total number of 1836 PW will be enrolled with informed consent and randomly allocated to one of the four arms receiving: (1) ANC counseling only (control group), (2) ANC counseling plus BEP supplement (intervention arm 1), (3) ANC counseling plus BEP supplement plus 2 doses azithromycin (intervention arm 2), or (4) ANC counseling plus BEP supplement plus daily single dose of nicotinamide and choline (intervention arm 3).
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04012177 . Registered on July 9, 2019.
© 2021. The Author(s).