Author - Ilar

First-ever self-care Index assesses global readiness to boost health system resilience

Innovative research and policy report from Global Self-Care Federation identifies critical enablers of self-care to help strengthen the resilience of health systems and create better health outcomes. Geneva, Switzerland, 22 September 2021The Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF) today announces the launch of a pioneering report for self-care, the Self-Care Readiness Index, developed with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Index reveals critical factors – titled enablers – that influence the uptake of self-care practices and products in health systems around the world, to support a better design of health systems and build a foundation for action-oriented initiatives at all levels. Self-care is defined by WHO as the ability of individuals 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 is more important now than ever before. In a recent WHO survey of 135 countries and territories, 90% reported continued disruptions to essential health services due to the pandemic. Self-care produces overwhelming benefits for individuals and health systems alike – from providing affordable, accessible, and effective solutions for individuals to easing the burden on overstretched health systems and medical staff. For example, according to an article published in the Brazilian Journal of Economics and Health (JBES), every $1 spent on over-the-counter drugs saves $7 for Brazil’s public health system. Similar studies from other countries show a comparable effect. “The pandemic has exposed just how fragile our health systems are. Now is the time to invest in their future,” said Heiko Schipper, Chairman of The Global Self-Care Federation. “I believe The Self-Care Readiness Index can help close the gap between the value of self-care and how it is practiced worldwide. We need to put the health and well-being of individuals at the center of our health policies to build more sustainable, resilient ways of practicing healthcare.” A diverse set of 10 countries around the world were analyzed for the Index, in the context of four key enablers of self-care, identified as stakeholder support and adoption, consumer and patient empowerment, health policy and regulatory environment. When looking at stakeholder support and adoption, findings show that more than 88% of healthcare professionals across South Africa, the US, the UK and Egypt, see self-care as crucial to helping them take good care of their patients. In terms of consumer empowerment, the survey finds that about a third of consumers in Brazil, Nigeria and the US, continue to rely on healthcare professionals for advice on the use of self-care, which highlights the need to encourage doctors to empower patients to practice self-care. “The effectiveness of self-care in combination with formal approaches to healthcare is often neglected in health policies,” commented Judy Stenmark, Director General at GSCF. “The Index is an extremely practical tool in that it provides stakeholders with ample data and a starting point to recognize how they can strengthen national health policies and take a coherent approach to self-care.” The Index aims to serve as a learning platform to inspire new approaches to self-care. It calls for collective action to integrate self-care into global healthcare, and for a new global compact to be established on self-care at the WHO-level, to recognize self-care as a global health priority.

  Learn more about the Self-care Readiness Index here

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About The Global Self-Care Federation The Global Self-Care Federation represents associations and manufacturers in the self-care industry, promoting sustainable and better global health outcomes for all. The Global Self-Care Federation is the go-to source of information for the self-care industry. We work closely with our members and relevant stakeholder groups to deliver better choice, better care and better value. By placing the benefits of self-care at the heart of what we do, promoting industry transparency, and supporting the regulated use of health data, we ensure that self-care continues to play its increasingly vital role in sustainable healthcare, worldwide. For more information please visit: www.selfcarefederation.org   About The Self-Care Readiness Index The Self-Care Readiness Index (SCRI) is a first-of-its-kind research and policy initiative that explores critical enablers of self-care across various health systems around the world. It aims to support a better design of healthcare systems and build a foundation for action-oriented initiatives at all levels.   Spearheaded by The Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF), the SCRI is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and forms part of the current working plan between the two bodies. The research includes a combination of in-depth qualitative and quantitative methodology supported by experts and an advisory board. It aims to provide policymakers, decision-makers, and healthcare professionals with data and to become an innovative learning platform that inspires new approaches to self-care.   While the levels of application or adoption of self-care in the researched countries are similar, approaches and priorities vary. The comprehensive index analysis serves as a reference point to share experiences and best practice. It is also intended to act as a conversation starter and stimulate constructive dialogue between countries to refine self-care approaches.
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Statement on the use of NSAIDs in the treatment of COVID-19

ILAR Latin American Industry for Responsible Self-Care advises the population in Latin America, who have questions about pain and fever management during the COVID-19 pandemic, to trust the recommendations of health professionals, the communiqués of health portals administered by the National Government, as well as the indications of approved for over-the-counter medications. Recent speculation about a link between the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and worsening of symptoms due to COVID-19 is not currently supported by scientific evidence. The vast majority of patients, from observational studies diagnosed with COVID-19, show no association between the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, and worsening in the development of the disease. World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Self-Care Federation and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have stated that there is no evidence of a connection between NSAIDs and worsening symptoms of COVID-19 and they advise patients and healthcare professionals to consider all available treatment options, including acetaminophen and NSAIDs, based on approved medication information. According to the results of the Danish National Cohort Study on the use of non-steroidal drugs and the clinical outcome of COVID-19, the use of ibuprofen and other analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, the so-called NSAIDs, are not associated with mortality or worsening of symptoms in coronavirus-infected patients. The results show that there is no statistically significant difference between patients who use NSAIDs and patients who do not use NSAIDs. (To access the full results of the study, click here) Self-care is crucial to lessen the burden on health care systems, particularly during this time of crisis. ILAR continues to monitor the situation closely and will review any new information that becomes available on this topic to assist in the proper dissemination of true and scientifically proven information. For further reference on clinical studies, see the following links:
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Chile: how health systems in Latin America can sustainably benefit from self-care as a public policy

For the Self-care Day in Chile articles were published in seven newspapers, talking about the importance of self-care and the results of the ILAR study on how health systems in Latin America can sustainably benefit from self-care as a public policy. Some news also featured an interview with Juan Thompson, ILAR's Executive Director. The Newspaper El Mostrador reached an audience of 185,000 people

You can access this and other articles here:

El Mostrador:  

https://www.elmostrador.cl/agenda-pais/2020/07/16/el-autocuidado-podria-tratarse-como-una-politica-de-salud-en-america-latina/#:~:text=Adem%C3%A1s%20de%20los%20ahorros%20generados,debido%20a%20condiciones%20no%20graves. 

Portal Red Salud: 

https://www.portalredsalud.cl/2020/07/30/dia-internacional-del-autocuidado/ 

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Colombia: ANDI created the campaign “#YoMeCuido”

ANDI created the campaign “YoMeCuido” with different materials that were distributed by social medial and press, aligned with the key messages of ILAR’s toolkit. A T.V. commercial “Autocuidadotu major aliado” was also developed and launched. For the self-care day ANDI in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the Javeriana University published a press release on self-care. To read the press release visit here: http://www.andi.com.co/Home/Noticia/15762-autocuidado-una-medida-que-ayuda-a-evit
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Central America: spoken about responsible self-care to the newspapers La Estrella de Panamá

For the Self-Care Day in Central America, FEDEFARMA in conjunction with ILAR have participated in different interviews and opinion articles. Also press releases and infographics were shared with the media. More than 9 million people had been potentially impacted by the project in the region. The Executives Directors of ILAR and FEDEFARMA, Juan Thompson and Victoria Brenes spoke about responsible self-care to the newspapers La Estrella de Panamá, El Panamá América and La Prensa. In addition, they talked about Responsible Self-Care as a public health policy in Guatemala on Chapin TV and Diario Extra in Costa Rica.
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