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Investigation of the household storage of medicines and disposal practices in Parklands sub-county in Nairobi, Kenya


Shreya Malde and Naumih M Noah


January 31, 2024


Over time there has been an increase in access to medicine, leading to the bulk of drugs becoming unused and being kept at home. Storage of unused medicines poses a threat to everyone at home. Unsafe drug disposal can lead to serious health hazards since it not only affects the safety of the public but also harms the environment. Therefore, correct guidelines and protocols are needed to ensure their safe storage and disposal methods. This study investigated the disposal of pharmaceutical drugs in Parklands sub-county in Nairobi, Kenya. The study used a descriptive, cross-sectional research design where 164 households were randomly selected, and the data was collected using questionnaires. The data were analyzed using the statistical package of social science software (SPSS) and Excel. At the time of data collection, out of the 164 households, 148 (91%) had kept medicines in their houses, and among them, 77 (48%) households had kept those medicines because their symptoms improved over time and they felt better. The most common place for the storage of medicines was the bedroom. Domestic trash was the major disposal practice for medications in 97 (59%) households. Most of the respondents, 81 (49%), were cognizant of the detrimental effects of the improper disposal of expired medications on human health and the environment. What was more, the majority of the respondents did not get counsel from pharmacists and other medical services experts on the most proficient method to discard unused/left-over and expired medications thus indicating inappropriate disposal methods are being practiced.

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