Coalition calls for expansion of self-care guidelines, proposes WHO resolution

76th World Health Assembly:
76th World Health Assembly: “Self-care is a cornerstone of health system sustainability”

At a panel event, the United for Self-Care Coalition called for expanding the current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on self-care.Self-care is a cornerstone of health system sustainabilitysaid at the 76th World Health Assembly on Wednesday.

of Unite for Self Care CoalitionA new coalition of like-minded groups and professionals presented a call to action and debated a panel discussion hosted by coalition member Global Self-Care Coalition (GSCF).

GSCF President Manoj Ragunandanan told attendees, “We are at a unique time in terms of federations involved in the role of self-care in the entire healthcare system.”

Global Self Care Federation President Manoj Ragunandanan
Global Self Care Federation President Manoj Ragunandanan

Increase in chronic diseases, aging population, COVID-19 Pandemic All this is having an effect on resources that have already become overstocked over the past few years, he said.

For Ragunandanan, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant more time spent in lockdown and an inability for many to see health care workers in person. Changed the way I look at self-care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a big acceleration factor,” Ragunandanan said. “We had a time when consumers and patients were relying on themselves for their own care and dictating the care they provided for themselves. We realized we could do it.”

What is Self Care?

Self-care is defined as the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote good health, prevent illness and mental health, and cope with illness and disability, with or without the assistance of health professionals.

The United for SelfCare Coalition calls on WHO to improve health literacy, promote digital health, strengthen self-care capacity and instruction, and recognize and invest in self-care as an enabler of UHC. The coalition is already part of the UHC2030 platform, which aims to expand universal health coverage by 2030.

Democratizing access to self-care interventions

Many believe that the current WHO guidelines simply require more action.

Manjula Narasimhan, Scientist, WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research
Manjula Narasimhan, Scientist, WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Manjula Narasimhan, a scientist at the WHO’s Reproductive Health and Research Division, explained: We consider what types of education and support are needed, including psychosocial support and other types. What kind of access to justice do people need?”

Self-care practices have great potential to improve people’s quality of life and help manage the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) while also contributing to the development of sustainability and reducing the increasing costs of the health system.

One avenue for such progress could be increasing the availability of telemedicine and health-related services and information through electronic devices and technology. It enables long-distance patient-clinician communication, care, advice, reminders, education, interventions, monitoring and remote hospitalization.

“They bought 250,000 blood pressure monitors and distributed them to patients,” academic Austin Eruosta told a panel, citing examples such as the UK National Health Service. These patients are effectively self-care and free from pressure from primary care and the healthcare system. Of course, we are all familiar with the many great digital health apps and tools we use, as well as great medical technology.

“The big question is how do we democratize access to self-care interventions and best practices,” Eruosta said. “We have guidelines. We have some anecdotal evidence. We do a lot of research on his NCD and technology, so all of this is now coming together.”

Another example was how pharmacists can help ease the burden on a struggling healthcare system.

Mariette Ecksteen, Global Lead for Driving Integrated Services in Advanced Pharmacies Worldwide
Mariette Ecksteen, Global Lead for Driving Integrated Services in Advanced Pharmacies Worldwide

“Often when a patient has a medical inquiry, the pharmacy or pharmacist is the first point of contact,” says Mariette Exteen, Global Lead, Highly Integrated Services, Advancing Pharmacy Worldwide. “Pharmacists can be a very well-positioned resource to support the concept of self-care, as they can help improve patient health literacy and knowledge in the community. As a result, it may also lead to improved levels of patient health.” Preventive care. ”

Why we need a WHO resolution

WHO resolutions on self-care, in contrast to guidelines, provide:

  • A framework for incorporation into future economic and health policies.
  • Promote awareness.
  • political involvement.
  • Mobilizing resources.

That would give us better support for the UH2030 goal.

Sandy Gerson, founding director of the Self-Care Trailblazer Group, echoed calls for the WHO to address current guidelines, saying: programming. Many countries are already moving in this direction, but we need more. ”

“We always welcome a credible political and legal framework of policies and standards to build the ecosystem we want,” said the CEO of the International Coalition of Patient Organizations. Mr. Kawaldip Semi of , agreed. “Patients self-care first, medical professionals second. Now is the time to take care of yourself.”

Image credit: screenshot.

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