What is it about?

The chance of contacts of leprosy patients developing leprosy can be reduced by providing a single dose of rifampicin. The implementation of this type of post-exposure prophylaxis can be done in various ways. This study led to the development of the SDR-PEP decision support tool to select the most suitable approach. It was developed in two phases; first, a tool was drafted based on a literature review and expert interviews, this was followed by phase 2 in which interviews and a focus group discussion with intended users of the tool were held. Five SDR-PEP implementation approaches that have been developed so far were identified. Apart from the characteristics of these approaches, the tool lists five basic requirements for the successful implementation of any approach, and criteria that help to select the best approach in a given context. A flowchart supports the selection process. The study found that the tool can also be used for lobby and advocacy, to clarify SDR-PEP implementation and the choice for an approach, and in training on SDR-PEP implementation. Information about costs and cost-effectiveness of the approaches is limited. Further research will help to continue to improve the tool.

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Why is it important?

The implementation of preventive services for leprosy, through administration of SDR-PEP to contacts of leprosy patients is recommended by WHO. This is a relatively new component of leprosy control. The SDR-PEP decision support tool brings together the experienced gained with various SDR-PEP implementation approaches and helps to select the most suitable approach for a given context. The tool supports the roll-out and scale-up of prevention of leprosy!


The interviews and focus group discussions that were done to develop this tool, brought together a wealth of experience. We consider it a great opportunity to make this available for a wider audience through this publication.

Liesbeth Mieras

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This page is a summary of: Implementation approaches for leprosy prevention with single-dose rifampicin: A support tool for decision making, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, October 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010792.
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