Home Disposal of Used Insulin Syringes and Needles by the Patients With Diabetic in Rwanda

Crispin Gishoma, Abnezel Murengezi, Arsene Hobabagabo, Sylvia Callender-Carter, Gilles Ndayisaba, Simon Pierre Niyinsenga, Darius Gishoma, Florent Rutagarama, Jenae Logan, Rex Wong


For many people living with diabetes, using needles to inject insulin and test blood glucose levels is a part of their everyday lives. Improper disposal of these highly contaminating sharp materials can cause injuries to people as well as pollute water sources and agricultural land.

Approximately 3.4% of the population in Rwanda lives with diabetes. There is no law specifying how these individuals should dispose of home-used syringes and lancets, and prior to this study, home disposal practices for sharp instruments including needles and lancets used for diabetes self-management were unknown.

A cross-sectional study design was used to identify the common methods used by people living with diabetes to dispose of sharps after home use. A total of 201 people living with diabetes participated in the study. Only 107 (53.3%) of them could identify the proper methods of sharp disposal and only 69 (34.3%) reported using these proper disposal methods. The top three challenges to the use of proper disposal practices reported by participants included not being informed of such practices (76, 37.8%), not having appropriate containers (66, 32.8%) and having to travel a long distance to return safety boxes containing sharp materials (47, 23.4%).

Future studies should be conducted to understand the financial feasibility of health facility provision of safe disposal boxes for patients. Education focusing on training people living with diabetes to use hard plastic bottles as an acceptable alternative to boxes is also needed. Convenient and effective mechanisms for obtaining and returning used safety boxes should be established. Larger scale studies including more patients could generate more representative data.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jms.v10n2p10

Journal of Management and Strategy
ISSN 1923-3965 (Print)   ISSN 1923-3973 (Online)


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