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


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:   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.

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:

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Portal Red Salud: 


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:

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.

Brazil: Self-care in times of Covid-19

For the Day of Self-Care ABIMIP with support from ILAR encouraged the publication of a study on self-care in Veja magazine, the study addressed Self-care in times of Covid-19. In addition, a Veja Saúde Live was held with Marcio Atala, in which the physical educator and lecturer, talked with journalist Diogo Sponchiato about the importance of self-care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Also on 7/24, ABIMIP participated in the Workshop Retail Farma, where a selling story was presented - the result of a partnership between ABIMIP and ILAR - about how the consumer experience can be more effective on their journey to buy  MIPs in pharmaceutical retail,   A video was also posted with Dr. Dráuzio Varella on the pillars of self-care, a recognized doctor in the country.   To access the study of Veja Saúde on Self-Care during the Pandemic of the COVID-19 click here:

México: Self-care as an element of Public Health Policies and the framework of a new reality.

For the World Self-Care Day AFAMELA with the support of ILAR, organized a press conference to talk about the importance of the culture of self-care for health in Mexico. In addition, Ricardo Ramírez executive director of AFAMELA, participated in a press conference with Darío Celis on self-care. Access here:  

Perú: ALAFARPE promote the webinar World Self-Care Day

July 24th, ALAFARPE promote the webinar World Self-Care Day. The event had the participation of Ángela Flores Director General of ALAFARPE, who spoke about the importance of self-care; Juan Thompson, Director General of ILAR, who spoke about universal health coverage as a priority at this time for countries in Latin America; And Dr. José Recoba, pediatric specialist, who explained the differences between self-care and self-prescribing. ALAFARPE also developed and posted infographics on its social networks that were based on the toolkit developed by ILAR for the self-care Day communication campaign. To access the World Self-Care Day webinar full recording, click here:

Interviews and Events

Thompson, Executive Director, ILAR participated in webinars and interviews dealing with the importance of self-care in a series of events taking place in Central America.   In Panama, Juan spoke about responsible self-care to the newspapers La Estrella de Panamá, El Panamá América and La Prensa, on July 20, 21 and 22, respectively. In addition, he talked about Responsible Self-Care as a public health policy in Guatemala on Chapin TV and Diario Extra in Costa Rica. Only these interviews reached more than 3 million people.    ILAR also participated as a guest of the ALAFARPE’s, Peru, webinar for World Self-Care Day and during his presentation spoke about the importance of self-care for a sustainable health system.  Other upcoming events  ILAR will also participate as a guest in two sessions of the series of webinars promoted by the faculty of Chemistry at UNAM and AMIIF Mexico, on August 19th and September 2nd, talking about the “Value of OTC drugs in the Health System” and about a “Public Health Self-Care Policy”. 

ILAR participated in the Health Forum and 26th Pharmaceutical Forum of the ANDI, Colombia, held in Cartagena.

This Forum is the space that summons all health actors around the topics of greatest interest and topicality of the system . One of the sessions of greatest interest was the panel on the Self-Care Policy as a Strategy for the Sustainability of the Health System. Formed by Iván Darío González Vice Minister of Health, Mauricio Santamaría, Former Minister of Health and Andrés Duarte Osorio Director Department of Preventive and Social Medicine Javeriana University. According to EConcept study, presented during the session, a Self-Care Policy could generate the country: • 850MM COP in savings due to a reduction in visits to the emergency room and external consultation. • 366MM COP in potential savings by avoiding disabilities. • 1.3 billion COP savings with a greater self-care that could be used for other health expenses.

Brazil establishes automatic conciliation of drug registration that has been authorized by the health authorities of other countries

The bill of law 3847/2019 created by Congress General Paternell (PSL) offers permission to the approval of medication, which has been already authorized by the sanitary authorities of other countries. The project defines that the health agencies of the USA, Japan, Canada and the European countries are reconnected in the reliance process for approval of the sanitary registration of medicines. Helping optimize the liberalization of drugs for the population and cost savings by cutting the rework of analyzes. The project has not yet been appointed to a commission in the House of Deputies.