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For this month’s spotlight, the Self-Care Trailblazer Group is focusing on Transform Health, a global coalition of organisations and individuals committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through the expanded use of digital technologies and data. Learn more from Asmita Ghosh, Communications & Engagement Manager and Richard Dzikunu, Young Experts Facilitator for Transform Health, and find them on Twitter at @Trans4m_Health.
Transform Health was formed in 2018 by a group of organizations who saw the need for a concerted, long-term effort to harness the transformative benefits of digital technology and data to achieve the SDG target of Universal Health Coverage (UHC by 2030).
We campaign and collaborate with the individuals, communities, governments, organizations and institutions that are most affected by the lack of access to equitable, affordable and high-quality healthcare. We are committed to promoting the perspectives and leadership of youth, women and marginalised groups in all aspects of our work.
The idea that the individual is somehow detached from the health system has dominated healthcare thinking since the inception of modern healthcare. Yet this approach to health has focused too much on illness and on the ability of the experts to intervene and address this at the individual, group and populations level. Recently, public health approaches that focus on wellbeing have been gaining ground.
Digital technology and the unprecedented access to information and expertise allows individuals to take far more control over their own health outcomes, and self care is increasingly recognised as a cornerstone of healthcare. The health system is increasingly engaging with this aspect of health and policy makers are slowly, though sometimes too hesitantly, establishing the incentive structures to encourage more of us to remain healthy, for example through high taxation on unhealthy activities such as smoking, and in some contexts on sugar.
Self-care in health systems prioritises the ownership and autonomy of health decisions by the individual, such that they have the agency to influence their own health outcomes. This is especially important to promote in areas of health that see a lot of stigma, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights. Access to technology and information is for example empowering many young women to make more informed decisions about their own bodies and providing information on where and how to access services. Digital technology enables people to access information and services while respecting the privacy, and autonomy of the individual .
Strengthening self-care within health systems, through the use of digital tools and technologies, can have a monumental impact on improving the reach and efficacy of health interventions, as well as lead to improved health outcomes, especially for the most marginalised, who face several barriers to accessing healthcare in traditional health systems. However, the digital divide must be breached to ensure that the most marginalised have access to the internet and the range of digital health tools it offers, as well as the literacy and skills required to safely and effectively use digital tools in support of their health.
At Transform Health, we believe that digital tools and technologies can support individuals to access health information, manage their own health, as well as enhance the quality and coverage of health services. With increased access to mobile phones, greater internet penetration, advancements in artificial intelligence, and the increased coverage of telemedicine, the breadth of self-care services have dramatically increased through the use of digital tools.
Digital tools facilitate the self-management and self-testing of health issues, which are especially important in the case of stigmatised services such as mental health, sexual health, hormone therapy. Digital platforms can be an easier or more efficient route to access healthcare services, or serve as the healthcare intervention itself. Digital technologies also allow individuals to connect with peers facing similar health issues and create their own communities of support.
Self-care and digital transformation of health systems go hand in hand.
With overarching commitments to flexibility in our work, and greater wellbeing for our employees, we want to ensure PSI is positioned for success with a global and holistic view of talent. Under our new “work from (almost) anywhere,” or “WFAA” philosophy, we are making the necessary investments to be an employer of record in more than half of U.S. states, and consider the U.S. as one single labor market for salary purposes. Globally, we recognize the need to compete for talent everywhere; we maintain a talent center in Nairobi and a mini-hub in Abidjan. PSI also already works with our Dutch-based European partner, PSI Europe, and we’re creating a virtual talent center in the UK.
PSI is firmly committed to the meaningful engagement of young people in our work. As signatories of the Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent & Youth Engagement, PSI affirms that young people have a fundamental right to actively and meaningfully engage in all matters that affect their lives. PSI’s commitments aim to serve and partner with diverse young people from 10-24 years, and we have prioritized ethics and integrity in our approach. Read more about our commitments to the three core principles of respect, justice and Do No Harm in the Commitment to Ethics in Youth-Powered Design. And read more about how we are bringing our words to action in our ICPD+25 commitment, Elevating Youth Voices, Building Youth Skills for Health Design.
PSI works to ensure that its operations and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. Read more about this commitment in our policy statement, endorsed by the PSI Board of Directors.
Since 2017, PSI has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a commitment to align strategies and operations with universal principles of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Read about PSI’s commitment to the UN Global Compact here.
The health of PSI’s consumers is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. That’s why we’ve joined the Climate Accountability in Development as part of our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Read about our commitment to environmental sustainability.
PSI does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Read our full affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy here.
PSI is committed to establishing and maintaining a work environment that fosters harmonious, productive working relationships and encourages mutual respect among team members. Read our policy against discrimination and harassment here.
PSI is committed to serving all health consumers with respect, and strives for the highest standards of ethical behavior. PSI is dedicated to complying with the letter and spirit of all laws, regulations and contractual obligations to which it is subject, and to ensuring that all funds with which it is entrusted are used to achieve maximum impact on its programs. PSI provides exceptionally strong financial, operational and program management systems to ensure rigorous internal controls are in place to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse and ensure compliance with the highest standards. Essential to this commitment is protecting the safety and well-being of our program consumers, including the most vulnerable, such as women and children. PSI maintains zero tolerance for child abuse, sexual abuse, or exploitative acts or threats by our employees, consultants, volunteers or anyone associated with the delivery of our programs and services, and takes seriously all complaints of misconduct brought to our attention.
PSI affirms its commitment to diversity and believes that when people feel respected and included they can be more honest, collaborative and successful. We believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or religious beliefs. Read our commitment to diversity and inclusion here. Plus, we’ve signed the CREED Pledge for Racial and Ethnic Equity. Learn more.
PSI affirms gender equality is a universal human right and the achievement of it is essential to PSI’s mission. Read about our commitment to gender equality here.