Powering a ubiquitous and resilient self-care revolution for adolescent sexual and reproductive health

Banner Image: PSI/Natasha Sweeney

Ubiquity, meaning present, appearing, found everywhere; and resilience, able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. 

While these may not be the first words that come to mind when you think of health care, they are an ambitious aim that can be achieved through a self-care revolution. 

The World Health Organization defines self-care as the “ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of the health provider.”

But what does that really mean?

Among other things, it is people taking health actions that once relied on healthcare workers. It is the reduction of dependency on facility-based care. And it is what people do every day for themselves to maintain their health as well as prevent and deal with illness.

And as Megan Christofield, Technical Advisor for Family Planning at Jhpiego, will tell you, in order to achieve ubiquity and resilience in self-care, we can minimize barriers to its use, diffuse the approach throughout healthcare, reinforce its fragile points, and make self-care’s value proposition well known. To do so will require action in both our policy environments and in the social norms held by individuals and health system actors alike. 

Representatives from Jhpiego, HCD Exchange, The White Ribbon Alliance, Y-Labs, and Maisha Youth explored all of this and more in a webinar on “Designing and Programming for Adolescent’s Self-Care During Strained ASRH Services” held on 6 May 2020. To learn more about how implementers, designers, youth and advocacy practitioners better support self-care among adolescents now and in the future, watch the full webinar here.