Assessment of the storage and disposal of medicines in some homes in Jos north local government area of Plateau State, Nigeria
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the way medicines are stored and disposed in some households in Jos North Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 130 households in Jos was carried out using a questionnaire to ascertain practices associated with medicine storage and their disposal.
Results: The results showed that 105 (80.8%) households had 635 medicines in their homes, 65.8% of which were unused medicines (3.2 unused medicines per household). Some households stored their medicines in bags/containers (76.2%) while others kept them in cup-boards/cabinets (21.96%), refrigerators (10.5%) or other places (3.3%). Methods for disposal of unused drugs varied among households with some disposing them in trash cans (70.5%) while other disposed them in toilets (19.0%) or burnt them (10.5%). Only 10.5% (n=11) of respondents knew how medicines were properly disposed.
Conclusion: While most households store their medicines appropriately, majority of them adopt poor disposal methods for medicines they no longer need in their homes. Public health education on problem disposal of medicines is of the essence.
Keywords: Jos North Households, Medicines, Storage, Disposal.