19.5.2  Managing leprosy reactions

A range of factors can lead to or help bring about leprosy reactions. They include stressful conditions such as pregnancy and childbirth, acute infections, vaccination, physical exhaustion, mental stress and strain. You should be on the lookout for the presence of any of these conditions — including asking your patients directly about problems they face.

Refer patients with leprosy reactions urgently to a higher health facility.

If a patient has any of the symptoms or signs of reaction, refer them immediately to a higher level health centre or hospital for appropriate management. Reactions require urgent treatment with special medicines as they can lead to irreversible deformities. Give aspirin or paracetamol to reduce pain and fever, but stress that it is important that patients continue to take MDT while they go to the higher health facility.

19.5.1  Signs and symptoms of leprosy reactions

19.5.3  Disability