I listen to the Press Conferences about taking 'personal responsibility' to manage COVID19, should you contract it, about avoiding high density risky situations and whilst I agree, the language is all wrong. This is actually about teaching people about the broader and important subject of Self Care and how each of us must lean into it in order to invest in our own health and to strengthen health systems that are struggling at present.
I've invested over 2 years of my life, researching and education myself on Self Care practices to bring together WOW Self Care School to help educate the broader public on evidence based Self Care practices. It continues to be one of the most misunderstood health opportunities for us all.
In June of 2021 the World Health Organisation issued this definition of Self Care as “The ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.
The Problem: Health systems are stretched beyond capacity and millions of individuals are unable to access essential healthcare. There is a critical opportunity to chart a new frontier in healthcare and work towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by strengthening the policy and regulatory environment for Self Care interventions.
The lack of attention, support, and funding for promising practices in Self Care prevents bringing Self Care programming to scale.
The rise of information technologies and growth in incomes in many countries means people are actively seeking new ways to look after their health in new ways.
COVID-19 has strained budgets and health systems. As funding constraints increase, there is more focus on finding safe, effective, and high-quality solutions to improve access to healthcare.
Self Care has the potential to transform healthcare, especially for vulnerable populations, including women, girls, transgender individuals, adolescents and young people, and people who face barriers to healthcare access, such as rural populations an those in humanitarian situations.
Self Care enables individuals to exercise greater autonomy, power, and control of their health, and improve their health and well-being. At the same time, self-care can contribute to progress towards UHC by making health systems more equitable and efficient.
Join The MOVEMENT
Join the movement to expand the safe and effective practice of Self Care, so that individuals can better manage their own health, health outcomes are improved, and health systems are better equipped to achieve UHC.
The Call To Action
We must use every lever available to increase access to tools, technology, information, and needed health services to drive better outcomes and help stressed healthcare systems.