World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched its first guidelines on self-care interventions for health in response to estimate shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers by 2035. In its first volume of guidelines, WHO focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Key highlights of guidelines
- Meaning of self-care: It is ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider.
- Self-care interventions represent significant push towards new and greater self-efficacy, autonomy and engagement in health for self-carers and caregivers.
- They represent significant push towards new and greater self-efficacy, autonomy and engagement in health for self-carers and caregivers.
- Guidelines: They do not replace high-quality health services nor are they shortcut to achieving universal health coverage. But rather they look at scientific evidence for health benefits of certain interventions that can be done outside conventional sector and sometimes with support of health-care provider.
- First volume: It focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Some of interventions prescirbed include self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) and sexually transmitted infections, home-based ovulation predictor kits, self-injectable contraceptives, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-testing and self-management of medical abortion.
- Expansion: These guidelines will be expanded in near future to include other self-care interventions, including for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.
Need for Self care
It is estimated that by 2035 the world will face shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers and currently at least 400 million people worldwide lack access to the most essential health services. Self-care interventions could help to expand access to health services, including for vulnerable populations. People are increasingly active participants in their own health care and have right to greater choice of interventions that meets their needs across their lifetime in affordable way.