International Self-Care Day: Better self-care, better healthcare; better welfare globally
Continued calls for WHO resolution on self-care
Nyon, 24 July 2023- International Self-care month 2023 opened with an ambitious joint statement of intent from the United for Self-Care Coalition: “It’s time to put self-care at the front of the healthcare debate”.
And today, on International Self-Care Day, the Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF) is calling for all stakeholders to back the urgent adoption of a WHO resolution on self-care. A rise in chronic conditions, an ageing population, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all impacted already-overstretched resources over the past few years and proven how crucial it is to codify self-care at international level. It is imperative to preserve the momentum and empower individuals to manage their own health while while lessening burdens on health systems globally. The resolution would drive a significant increase in the expansion of self-care both within the WHO and at the national level and accelerate the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). There is no time to waste.
International Self-Care month is recognised annually between June 24th - July 24th, is part of the WHO’s global health calendar. It symbolically culminates on July 24th, as a demonstration that individuals can practice self-care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Self-care is any action an individual takes to look after their own health either alone or in collaboration with healthcare professionals.
At the end of 2021, GSCF and 17 like-minded organizations formed the United for Self-Care Coalition. This global coalition includes NGOs, academic institutions and health workers’ associations, and is united by the shared desire to advance progress towards UHC. This goal that can only be achieved by working at a global level in order to formally recognise the value that self-care can bring in terms of access to care, quality of treatment and resilience of health systems.
Judy Stenmark, Director General of GSCF said, “With the growing cost of living crisis and increasing pressures on global supply chains, health systems are continually under-resourced as health workers become overworked. Evidence-based research has already clearly showed that self-care is often the only option for vulnerable people to engage with health services. Our own reports have further confirm that current self-care practices contribute to a gain of 22 million quality-adjusted life years, and health system annual savings of $120 billion.”
Universal health care cannot be achieved without high quality and wide-spread self-care. Self-care puts individuals at the center of health policy. The United for Self-Care Coalition is calling for all supporters to take up the call for a WHO resolution on self-care: