The world has committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. But with half of the world’s population currently without access to essential health services, meeting that goal will be challenging. 

Self-care can be a part of the solution and contribute to progress towards UHC by making health systems more equitable and efficient.

Self-care enables individuals to manage their health safely and effectively, with or without the support of health providers. Widespread adoption of appropriate self-care interventions can help alleviate pressure on healthcare workers and free them up for the most critical tasks. And, implementation of self-care has the potential to deliver safe, high-impact, and affordable care to marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Join the Self-Care Trailblazer Group (SCTG) for the 12 Days of UHC as we celebrate UHC Day 2021 to invest in health systems for all and leave no one’s health behind. Throughout our series, SCTG members share insights and lessons on how self-care can contribute to more sustainable and effective health systems for all, progressing towards achieving UHC.

Over the next 12 days, we invite you to participate in our celebration in the following ways:

Learn more: 

  • Dive into SCTG member pieces highlighting their insights on self-care and UHC. 

Share our message on social media:

Our social media toolkit includes general messaging around self-care and UHC with accompanying graphics. Help us amplify self-care across your channels as you share how self-care can help us invest in health systems for all. 

  • Tag us at @SelfCare4UHC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
  • Use the #SelfCare4UHC #UHCDay hashtag.

We look forward to celebrating together!

The 12 Days of UHC: Partner Pieces

Self-care has never been more relevant than now, as health systems around the world are overwhelmed by COVID-19. Governments have increasingly stepped up self-care and digital health interventions to reduce the burden on health systems and allow people to take care of their health needs. For this reason, Aidsfonds has been working with vulnerable populations to equip, empower, and encourage them to meet their own health needs through self-care.

Self-care could improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery by including users in their own care, thereby increasing people’s access to essential health services that they would otherwise not be able to access through health providers because of stigma, discrimination, distance, or cost. In this piece, Financing Alliance for Health shares opportunities and challenges for financing healthcare systems as it relates to self-care.

Digital healthcare providers are responding to the opportunity to develop technology and programmes that enable people to take far greater control of their health and well being, bridging the gap between the health system and the community. Transform Health is aiming to achieving health for all by promoting the role of digital technologies to achieve UHC.

Digital self-care has the potential to bridge gaps between the formal and community based models of service delivery for sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Through a process of design thinking, user-centered research, community engagement and a multidisciplinary team, Vitala Global is demonstrating the feasibility of localized digital self-care solutions to be an opportunity that can improve SRH outcomes for the most vulnerable living in the most challenging contexts. 

In humanitarian settings, self-care offers an important opportunity to ensure access to essential SRH services, even amidst a strained health system. SCTG partners Vitala Global, the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Jhpiego and University of Ottawa share how self-care options for SRH services must be prioritized as both an effective option to increase health coverage in humanitarian settings and as an essential human right. 

Achieving health and wellbeing for all by 2030 will be strongly impacted by the extent to which women and girls are empowered to practice self-care. In this piece, Days for Girls International share what supportive self-care environments look like with regards to menstruation, and focus areas that government bodies and decision makers can address in order to bolster self-care for menstruators.

In Africa, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV services is of particular concern and has stalled progress towards UHC. The Self-Testing Africa Initiative explains how HIV self-testing provides a foundation from which the potential of other self-testing and self-care approaches can now be more readily realized.

Building on global momentum, the Senegal Ministry of Health, PATH, and partners are working to advance self-care through policy action and partner coordination, increasing awareness and political will for self-care, and ensuring alignment among partners. Learn how the Pioneers are leading communication, awareness-raising, and advocacy efforts to support the introduction and extension of self-care interventions within health care systems.

Back in April, three self-care youth advocates got together to host a podcast on the importance of self-care advocacy. Eight months later, we’re checking in with our youth leaders to explore what they’ve been up since and the role they’re playing to make universal health coverage a reality. In this piece, get to know more about Bea, Tihut and Richard as they continue advocating for a better world for young people everywhere.

The world is still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit vulnerable populations particularly hard and further exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. This highlights the need for countries to take every opportunity to rebuild their health systems sustainably and more equitably. Sandy Garçon, Co-Chair of the SCTG’s Global Advocacy and Communications Working Group, shares how self-care can be part of the solution. 

The Discover Self-Care report by WRA and the SCTG is out! The dynamic report highlights self-care promising practices, key learning questions, advocacy asks, living case studies, resources, and more, collated across 16 sessions at the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series. Use this tool to inform and ignite action to advance self-care in your context!

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