N ° 001 May 2021 Bulletin – Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the WHO African Region – Global
Focus: Implementing the WHO guidelines on self-care interventions and the WHO guidelines on safe abortion care in the WHO African Region: an opportunity to reduce maternal mortality in Africa
Self-care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote and maintain health, prevent disease, and cope with disease and disability with or without the support of a health care provider. The scope of self-care includes health promotion, disease prevention and control, self-medication; care for dependent persons, seeking hospital / specialist care if necessary and rehabilitation including palliative care.
Self-care interventions are evidence-based information, drugs, diagnostics, products and technologies that are totally or partially separate from formal health services and that can be used with or without the direct supervision of a health worker. health. Self-care interventions aim to strengthen the capacity of individuals to access quality health care and may be of particular benefit to disadvantaged people or those living in areas or situations where access to services is limited.
Overall, these interventions offer an alternative or a complementarity alternative for accessing health care.
Examples of self-care interventions include: DMPA self-injectable subcutaneous contraceptive, HIV self-test, HPV self-sampling, home ovulation prediction kits, over-the-counter oral contraceptives. All of these interventions aim to strengthen the capacity of individuals to access quality health care even for those living in disadvantaged environments.
WHO has developed sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) guidelines, including safe abortion care and self-care health interventions to improve women’s access to quality health services and reduce maternal mortality from preventable causes also using the health system approach in health facilities. as in communities. Through the support of the AFRO-Sweden “From COVID to Health” project to maintain and improve the quality of sexual and reproductive health / family planning services during COVID-19, and the SDSR initiative led by WHO / AFRO, in collaboration with the WHO Headquarters (HQ) a regional SRHR forum to disseminate the WHO guidelines on safe abortion and postabortion care and the WHO consolidated guidelines on interventions for self-care for health in the African Region.
Plans are underway to introduce and / or intensify the implementation of these guidelines across the region.