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WHO guidelines on self-care interventions for health

Topic covered:

Issues related to health.


WHO guidelines on self-care interventions for health


What to study?

For prelims and mains: Key features, need for and significance of the guidelines.


Context: The WHO has launched its first guidelines on self-care interventions for health.


Need for self- care interventions:

As per an estimate by 2035 the world will face a shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers. Currently at least 400 million people worldwide lack access to the most essential health services.


What is Self-Care?

It is 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-careers and caregivers.

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.


Key guidelines:

  • The guidelines focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Some of the interventions include 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.
  • These guidelines look at the scientific evidence for health benefits of certain interventions that can be done outside the conventional sector, although sometimes with the support of a health-care provider.
  • They do not replace high-quality health services nor are they a shortcut to achieving universal health coverage.

Sources: the Hindu.