Gertrude’s Hospital Feted For Safe Medicine Disposal Social Media Campaign

by Business Watch Team

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital has won this year’s Best Use of Social Media in Healthcare recognition at the 2024 Quality Healthcare Kenyan Awards for their efforts to raise awareness about the safe storage and disposal of pharmaceutical waste. The DispoSafely campaign ran on the hospital’s social media pages in 2023, encouraging people to practice safe handling and disposal of unused medication.

“This award is a recognition of the deliberate steps we are taking to improve the public’s awareness of issues related to healthcare that directly affect them. As a hospital, we are not only striving to deliver high-quality services to our patients, but we also improve their knowledge base to keep them as healthy as possible,” said Dr Robert Nyarango, CEO of Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital.

The World Health Organisation recommends safe disposal of waste contaminated by anti-microbial medicine as a key method of preventing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, and fungi no longer respond to medicine, which makes infections harder to treat. According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance is responsible for at least 1.27 million deaths, which is expected to rise in the coming years.

“There are policies on safe usage, storage, and disposal of medicine, but public awareness remains low. Improper storage and disposal of medication pose a risk to human and environmental health through unscrupulous resellers and contamination of land and water resources. Some medicines require specialized disposal methods, and we are encouraging members of the public to bring their unused or expired medication to our clinics for proper disposal.” said Dr. Nyarango.

Dr Susan Mutua, Chief Pharmacist, at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, underscored the value of the campaign and called the public to be cautious with handling of medication.

“Our DispoSafely campaign underscores Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital’s commitment to advancing public health beyond our clinical services. The health and safety of the public will benefit greatly from extra caution in the use, management, and disposal of medication. This award acknowledges our efforts to raise awareness and empower individuals to safeguard their health through proper medicine disposal,” said Dr Mutua.

The Quality Healthcare Kenya Awards celebrate innovation and recognize excellence in the healthcare sector, encouraging consistent improvement and growth among individuals and organizations.

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