Assessment of knowledge, attitude and disposal practices of unused and expired veterinary pharmaceuticals among farmers, veterinary practitioners and drug shop operators in Ibanda District.
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Treatment and prevention of animal diseases using chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis respectively is widely applicable today in animal husbandry for management of the common diseases. This exposes farmers and other partners like veterinarians or other animal health workers and drug shop attendants or owners to various veterinary pharmaceuticals. The main objective of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and disposal practices of unused and expired veterinary pharmaceuticals among stakeholders in Ibanda district, western Uganda. This was a descriptive cross sectional study, where face to face interviews using pre-validated semi structured questionnaires were used. Simple random sampling procedure was used to get the 150 cattle and small ruminant farmers, 20 veterinary practitioners and 15 drug shops required for the study. The filled questionnaires were double checked for accuracy and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.Majority of the famers (54.0%) purchased drugs on prescription and 86.0% checked the expiry date of the drugs before procuring. About 52.0% of farmers agreed that some purchased medicines remain unused and it was majorly Albendazole (14.7%). These famers disposed unused, expired or the containers of the used drugs by throwing them in garbage pits or wetlands. The drug shop attendants on the other hand, 80.0% of them said they have never had expired drugs in their premises. The 20.0% who have ever had expired or unused drugs in their premises disposed them by giving them back to the suppliers. Gender and age at P-values of 0.812 and 0.617 respectively do not influence the drug shop operator’s knowledge on the safe disposal of unused and expired drugs. 83.3% of the veterinary practitioners had never had expired drugs. About the disposal of unused, expired or the containers of the drugs used, majority of them (44.0%) disposed them by dumping them in pit latrines. In conclusion, a few farmers need more awareness about disposal methods of unused, expired or the containers of the used drugs. The study therefore recommends that there should be a regulation in accessing veterinary drugs as the visited farmers had stocked drugs. Farmers should also be sensitized about the proper disposal methods of unused, expired or the containers of the veterinary medicinal products used.