The World Health Organization (WHO) launched its first set of guidelines for self-care interventions, focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights. These guidelines examine the health benefits of specific interventions that can be achieved without the aid of conventional healthcare.
The guidelines don’t aim to replace high quality healthcare services but explore the possibility of allowing individuals to receive the necessary care that they need when none is available. Among some of the interventions listed by the guidelines include HIV self-testing kits, self-injectable contraceptives, self-test kits for HPV and sexually transmitted diseases, and many others.
WHO is also taking a look at the capabilities of healthcare providers to see if they can support the self-care interventions outlined in the guidelines. So far, there is evidence that shows that health providers are still able to deliver aid to a majority of individuals where it is needed the most.
WHO will also be establishing a community that can practice self-care and promote the tenets found in the guidelines here during self-care month, which will run from June 24 to July 24.
Self-care is defined as the ability of individuals to prevent disease and maintain a healthy level of living without the support of a healthcare provider. There are at least 400 million people that don’t have access to the most basic of health services, and it’s expected that there will be a shortage of around 13 million healthcare workers by 2035.
Self-care interventions are an important part of the health system that complements conventional healthcare services. It circumvents those who are discriminated and denied healthcare due to gender, cultural dynamics, or political reasons. This allows them to have autonomy in improving their own health and well-being.
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