UHC Day 2022

12 WAYS WE CAN BUILD THE WORLD WE WANT: A HEALTHY FUTURE FOR ALL

12 Days of UHC

The world has committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. But millions of individuals are still without access to essential health services and are left in compromised and lacking health conditions.

Self-care is an essential component of achieving UHC because self-care enables individuals to exercise greater autonomy, power, and control over their health, and improve their well-being even in overtaxed health systems.

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 – like self-testing, family planning, drug administration and digital health engagement – can help alleviate pressure on healthcare workers and free them up for the most critical tasks. Implementation of self-care has the potential to deliver safe, high-impact, affordable and confidential care to marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Join the Self-Care Trailblazer Group (SCTG) for the 12 Days of UHC as we celebrate UHC Day 2022 leading up to the High-Level Meeting on UHC led by the United Nations in 2023.  UHC2030 has dubbed the theme of this year’s UHC Day “Build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All.” Therefore, throughout our series, SCTG members will share insights and lessons on how self-care specifically can help us build the world we want, progressing toward 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:

Help us amplify self-care across your channels:

  • Tag us at @SelfCare4UHC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
  • Use the #SelfCare4UHC #UHCDay #UHC2023 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.

Although the discourse and awareness of self-care has increased recently, the idea of self-care is not a new one. And now, more so than at any point in the past, we have the knowledge and information to support its direct inclusion into healthcare.  We know that embedding self-care practices into health systems improves health and quality of life while simultaneously supporting health systems’ sustainability.

Kenya has accelerated progress toward universal health coverage (UHC), both in terms of expanding coverage of quality health services and reducing financial hardship to ensure people are not pushed into poverty because of the cost of healthcare. Unfortunately, the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted Kenya’s progress towards UHC. There is need of creative and innovative methods of achieving equitable access to health, especially sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) for youth and adolescents, 75% of Kenya’s total population of 47.6 million people are adolescents and youth.

Enabling people to manage their own health requires breaking down the barriers that keep them from accessing equitable and high-quality care throughout their lives. A crucial driver of achieving universal health coverage (UHC), self-care can create a world in which everyone everywhere has access to the basic integrated health products and services they need. It can reduce, and in some cases eliminate, barriers to care by enhancing convenience, privacy, and confidentiality. It can also make it easier for people to seek services and continue prevention and treatment measures when necessary.

Midwives are key front-line workers serving clients who seek sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) services. But like many other health workers, they struggle with low staffing, exacerbated by the imbalanced provider-patient levels, clients that live far away from health facilities, and the need for a close and long relationship with their clients. It is in this regard that midwives should embrace and champion self-care because it can help their clients manage their own health, improving access to healthcare and facilitating more effective and efficient deployment of scarce midwifery resources. 

 Health equity is central to achieving universal health coverage (UHC), which means concerted efforts must be devoted to targeting those who are often left out of the conversation, such as adolescent and young mothers. Safe and effective self-care practices have the potential to improve the equity and efficiency of the health system by allowing each actor to maximize their contribution. Let’s build the world we want by advocating for a supportive environment that empowers young women to trust themselves, know their rights, and take actions to improve their maternal health experiences.

*This piece is available in both English and French.

Addressing challenges to abortion access, including self-care can go a long way towards eliminating the estimated 22 million unsafe abortions that occur globally each year.  For many women and girls a self-care pathway to care provides an important and potentially preferable safe alternative to an in-facility abortion. For others, including the most vulnerable, it may provide the only alternative to an unsafe abortion given the labyrinth of restrictions and barriers women routinely face in accessing abortion care.

*This piece is available in both English and Spanish.

We have made enormous progress in increasing access to and awareness of self-managed abortion, but we still face major hurdles in changing restrictive legal frameworks, making quality medication abortion widely available, guaranteeing the safety of abortion activists and accompaniers, engaging medical professionals in harm reduction counseling, expanding telemedicine, and reaching populations with limited or no Internet access. In the face of these challenges, we must continue to work collectively to find solutions both within and outside of the formal health system to legalize self-managed abortion and achieve UHC for all.

Self-care offers an important and exciting opportunity to ensure access to essential SRHR services across the humanitarian-development nexus. The ever-growing self-care movement is demonstrating the value of self-care but despite the encouraging progress in stable settings, investments in self-care are almost never made in places where the most vulnerable women and girls live. With up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor estimated to live in fragile settings by 2030, and 61% of maternal deaths and 45% of neonatal deaths occurring in fragile contexts, there is a real risk that millions of vulnerable people will be left out of the self-care revolution.

More than 4 billion people go without healthcare; and individuals with a low sense of agency are less likely to seek health services or care. The inability to overcome this agency-action gap stymies progress toward universal health coverage (UHC). Nivi’s ability to strengthen user agency and motivation – closing the agency-action gap – has the potential to help us build the world we want by improving effective population coverage and aligning products and services to individuals who will most benefit from them.

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