Pathfinder International, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has intensified its interventions on self-care to raise awareness and change the social perception of sexual, reproductive and maternal health.
The group tasked the media on the need to promote self-care interventions for promotion of health and prevention of diseases in the country at a day orientation training in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Standardising guidance on self-care for sexual reproductive and maternal health and creating an enabling environment will strengthen people- centred approach to health and well- being,” said Amina Dorayi, country director of Pathfinder International
According to her, the overall goal is to accelerate progress towards achieving universal coverage of sexual reproductive and maternal health- care services through rapid, safe and effective uptake of self-care interventions by 30percent of potential users by year 2050.
“Self-care is different from self- medication, we want people to know that they can offer themselves some services without necessarily a health care provider being with them,” Dorayi who was represented by Sakina Amin-Bello, senior program advisor, reproductive health said.
“This will empower them to also lessen the burden on the health system because we know that, this is really to orient, French level self-care guidelines and media critical role as members of the self-care advocacy network, will ensure that this message far and wide to the grassroots where people live.”
Dorayi urged the media to tell stories of the lives of different individuals who, upon learning about the national self-care guidelines, embrace the recommendation practices.
“Also showcase the efforts of various stakeholders including healthcare professionals, policymakers and community influencers as they come together to implement the national self-care,” she said.
Pathfinder International is a global non-profit organisation that focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and maternal and newborn health.
Remi Bajomo, director, VVF and Reproductive Health, Ministry of Health, defined Self-care as the ability of the individual to promote health and maintain health with or without the healthcare provider.
Bajomo expressed the commitment of the ministry to promoting self-care aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage with monitoring and Evaluation.
According to WHO, self-care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health. It is also the ability to prevent diseases, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.
Bajomo recalled that during the early stages of Covid-19 pandemic, the limitation of conventional health services was made more obvious with the disruption of health service delivery in some health facilities, stating that self-care intervention through community pharmacy and PPMVs were helpful to sustain health services.
According to her, self-care will reduce unnecessary overdependence on health facilities for services which individuals or families could provide for themselves.
“It is an integral and complementary component of the overall health care system, the benefits of self-care to health care system has enormous such as reduced workload on health care workers and increase access to sexual and reproductive health services in a a safe and private space leveraging innovations and digital platforms to access or deliver safe and appropriate health care services,” she said.
Femi James, RMNCAEH’s technical officer, said WHO Nigeria added that Self- Care is a new approach to primary healthcare, however it should be promoted and supported by community and health workers.
“Nigeria’s health system is not robust enough to address healthcare challenges, there is need to move from baseline to improvements on preventions and it is important to ensure that Self-Care interventions reach all levels,” he said.
Other partners present at the orientation with media on National Guidelines on Self-care for sexual, reproductive and maternal health are World Health Organisation (WHO), Society for Family Health (SFH), White Ribon Alliance, Nigeria (WRAN), UNFPA, IRC, ARFH, MWAN and JSI.