Self-care in the context of primary health care
Other TitlesReport of the regional consultation, Bangkok, Thailand, 7-9 January 2009
AbstractMember States in the South-East Asia Region agree that primary health care is the right approach to strengthen the health systems, taking into account the social determinants of health for achieving the MDGs, and ultimately to achieve equitable health for all. The PHC approach encompasses four principles: universal coverage; community participation; multi-sectoral collaboration; and use of appropriate technology. Self-care embraces all of these principles and translates community participation through community empowerment that necessitates involvement of other sectors beyond health. Use of appropriate information and communication technology is essential in empowering the community. Finally, self-care will ease the burden of the overstretched health systems, reduce cost and increase its effectiveness, all of which facilitate efforts in achieving universal coverage. The regional consultation on "Self-care in the context of PHC" was held from 7-9 January 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. The objectives were to determine the way forward in strengthening self-care for revitalizing PHC in countries of the Region, specifically to review the regional and countries' current policy and practices on self-care, to identify best practices and challenges for self-care and to identify key strategies for self-care. The regional consultation concluded with the following recommendations: For Member States - (1) Give serious consideration to including strengthening of self-care as a programme in their efforts to revitalize PHC; (2) Re-examine national health policies and strategies to strengthen support structures, legislation and financing for self-care; (3) Document existing local self-care best practices and conduct operational research to develop evidence-based, effective self-care practices; and (4) Establish a network of individuals and institutions for self-care promotion. For WHO - (1) Advocate for strengthening self-care in the context of revitalizing PHC; (2) Provide technical support to Member States in their efforts to promote effective self-care; (3) Provide support to Member States in documentation, assessment and evaluation and research on self-care practices; and (4) To develop common tools and guidelines. The consultation also suggested the way forward to enhance community participation and self reliance in health, with the improved role of the health work force to empower the community in a comprehensive understanding of health to improve social and economic productivity.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2009). Self-care in the context of primary health care. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206352