Prevalence and disposal practices of unused medicines among households in Kavumba Ward, Wakiso District, Uganda.
Brian Samuel, Musoke
MetadataShow full item record
ABSTRACT Background: Most medicines found unused among households are those that are required for common ailments such as pain, fever, cough and epigastric distress. While this practice may not be entirely irrational, safe disposal of unused medicines is important as malpractice may lead to harmful consequences such as undesirable effects, prescription drug abuse, overstocking, self-medication, accidental overdose, and even death. This study explored the prevalence and disposal methods of unused medicines among households in Kavumba Ward. Objective: To determine the prevalence and disposal practices of unused medicines among households in Kavumba Ward, Wakiso District. Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted among randomly selected households in Kavumba Ward, Wakiso District in November, 2020 using interviewer administered structured questionnaires. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel (2013) and exported to Python 3.7.2 software for analysis. Frequencies and proportions of unused medicines found in surveyed households were calculated. Factors associated with the prevalence of unused medicines among households in Kavumba Ward were explored using chi-square tests. Descriptive statistics of the disposal methods of unused medicines were provided using frequencies and graphs. Results: A total of 369 households in Kavumba Ward, Wakiso District was surveyed. 62.9% (232) of the respondents were female wile 37.1% (137) were males. Unused medicines were present among 45.5% of the surveyed households. Analgesics (27.9%) and antibiotics (17.9%) were the most common unused medicines. The factors that influenced the presence of unused medicines among households were gender (p=0.039), anticipated future use (p=0.07) and recent common illnesses (p<0.001). Throwing into the household garbage (40.1%) was the most used method of disposal. Conclusion and recommendations: Almost half of the population (45.5%) in Kavumba Ward were in possession of unused medicines. There is a lack of guidance on how patients should safely dispose of their unused medicines and thus need for increased awareness of the potentially detrimental effects on the environment, human and animal health arising from improperly disposed of medications among the population.