A Spotlight On New Coalition Steering Committee Member Austen El-Osta

A SPOTLIGHT ON SCTG COALITION STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER AUSTEN EL-OSTA

The Coalition Steering Committee advises the Secretariat and provides oversight of SCTG coalition functions, ensuring a strong value proposition for members that is supportive of the SCTG’s strategic priorities. New Steering Committee member Austen El-Osta, Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU), answers questions about his expertise and passion for self-care below!

WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am the Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU), which is a collaboration between Imperial College London School of Public Health, the Self-Care Forum UK and the International Self-Care Foundation.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JOIN THE SCTG COALITION STEERING COMMITTEE?

I was inspired by SCTG’s contribution to the self-care for SRHR space, the ELWG subgroup and in supporting the development of various self-care networks to promote alignment with WHO Guideline on Self-Care Interventions.

WHAT DOES SELF-CARE MEAN TO YOU? AND WHY IS IT INTEGRAL TO ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE?

Self-care is the set of person-centred activities we do every day to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing. It’s about our lifestyle and daily habits and the choices we make in the 5759 hours a year we spend outside of the clinical setting!

IN LIGHT OF THE NEW VISION, MISSION AND STRATEGY FOR SCTG, HOW DO YOU SEE THE COALITION AND THE SELF-CARE MOVEMENT EVOLVING IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Increasing focus on the totality of self-care, but not the exclusion of self-care for SRHR. For example, more focus on promoting healthy lifestyles to tackle NCDs, and in exploring the role of digital and personal health records as key drivers to democratise self-care for all in the community setting and throughout the life course of the individual.

GIVEN YOUR WORK AS AN ADVOCATE, WHAT ROLE CAN YOUR SECTOR PLAY IN EXPANDING THE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE PRACTICE OF SELF-CARE?

SCARU is an academic reseach unit. We will work collaboratively with academic rigour to support the development of quality assured applied research protocols to study various components of self-care.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOURSELF?

I love cats, Bach and honey (I go through about a kilo of honey a month!). I’m also totally fascinated with bees and apitherapy.

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