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WHO brings in norms on self-care intervention

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WHO brings in norms on self-care intervention

Context of WHO norms on self-care intervention:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched its first norms on self-care intervention.

Background of WHO norms on self-care intervention:

It was in response to an estimate that by 2035 the world will face a shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers and the fact that currently, at least 400 million people worldwide lack access to the most essential health services.

What guidelines WHO norms on self-care intervention include:

  • They focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) and sexually transmitted infections, self-injectable contraceptives, home-based ovulation predictor kits, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-testing and self-management of medical abortion.

The relevance of the WHO Norms:

  • The scientific evidence for health benefits of certain interventions that can be done outside the conventional sector, though sometimes with the support of a health-care provider.
  • They do not replace high-quality health services nor are they a short cut to achieving universal health coverage.
  • The ability of individuals, families, and communities 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 interventions represent a significant push towards new and greater self-efficacy, autonomy and engagement in health for self-carers and caregivers.
  • The guidelines, meanwhile, will be expanded to include other self-care interventions, including the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.
  • WHO is establishing a community of practice for self-care, and will be promoting research and dialogue in this area during the self-care month between June 24 and July 24?

Concerns for India :

  • Home-based pregnancy testing is the most commonly used self-help diagnostics in this area in India. While the morning-after pills are available over the counter, mifepristone and misoprostol are scheduled drugs and need a prescription from a medical practitioner, thus defeating the very purpose of the drugs if it can be had without the supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • The next commonly consumed drug to prevent illness and disease is the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention. India is yet to come up with guidelines for PrEP use and include it in the national HIV prevention programme.
  • Despite the WHO approving the HIV self-test to improve access to HIV diagnosis in 2016, the Pune-based National AIDS Research Institute is still in the process of validating it for HIV screening.

Conclusion:

  • Self-care is also a means for people who are negatively affected by gender, political, cultural and power dynamics, including those who are forcibly displaced, to have access to sexual and reproductive health services, as many people are unable to make decisions around sexuality and reproduction.
  • One of the reasons why people shy away from getting tested for HIV is stigma and discrimination. The home-based testing provides privacy.
  • WHO is establishing a community of practice for self-care, and will be promoting research and dialogue in this area during the self-care month between June 24 and July 24?
Source: THE HINDU

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