19.2.2  How to administer MDT for leprosy

Box 19.1 summarises how to administer multidrug therapy to treat leprosy.

Box 19.1  Before giving MDT you should:

  • Count the number of skin patches and check nerve involvement in order to classify the patient as PB or MB for treatment, (see Table 19.1 above and Figure 19.2). If in doubt, classify as MB.
  • Inform the patient and anyone accompanying the patient about the disease and its treatment. Encourage them to ask questions and clear up any doubts.
  • Give the patient the first dose at home or in the Health Post under your supervision. Show them which drugs from the MDT blister pack should be taken every day for days 2–28. Give the patient enough blister packs to last until the next visit.
  • Give patients the full course of treatment if it is difficult for you to visit them at home, or for them to come to the Health Post. Explain to them what they have to do (see later in this study session).
Figure 19.2  Recognising paucibacillary (PB) and multibacillary (MB) leprosy. (a) one to five patches indicates PB leprosy. The six blister packs should be completed within a maximum period of nine months. (b) More than five patches indicates MB leprosy. The 12 blister packs should be completed within a maximum period of 19 months. (Source: WHO, 2000, as for Figure 19.1)

19.2.1  MDT drug regimens

19.2.3  Accompanied MDT