19.2.3 Accompanied MDT
Normally, patients are given their MDT drugs every month when they come to the health facility for the next blister pack and their check-up. However, this is not always possible. Accompanied MDT is a type of treatment strategy where a patient is able to receive all the MDT drugs needed for the full course of treatment on their first visit after diagnosis. It is designed to address a frequent problem in rural programmes. Patients often have to interrupt their treatment because of a shortage of drugs at the health centre, poor access to the health services or simply because no one is at the health centre when they come to collect their drugs.
This approach means that the patient has to take more responsibility for adherence to the drug regimen, although a treatment supporter should accompany the patient when they collect the drugs. If the patient chooses accompanied MDT, give PB patients six PB blister packs and MB patients 12 MB blister packs. Reassure patients that they can lead normal lives. Tell patients to report any problems and to come back when treatment is completed.
Yacob, a new leprosy patient, lives two streets away from a health centre. Should he be given accompanied MDT or not? Explain your answer.
No. He is close to the health centre and is likely to be able to collect more drugs when he needs to.