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 Table of Contents  
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 289-290

Need to expand and explore self-care for improving the health indicators of the disadvantaged sections of community


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission27-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance07-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_51_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need to expand and explore self-care for improving the health indicators of the disadvantaged sections of community. Int J Health Allied Sci 2019;8:289-90

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need to expand and explore self-care for improving the health indicators of the disadvantaged sections of community. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 22];8:289-90. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2019/8/4/289/269250



Sir,

The global estimates pertaining to access to essential health services suggest that close to 400 million people are deprived of such services worldwide.[1] Even though a wide range of factors determines this, shortage of health workforce and presence of humanitarian emergencies in a number of settings clearly play a major role in increasing the magnitude of the problem. Further, it is quite important to understand that in view of the availability of newer modes of diagnostic tool, expansion of the private health sector, social media, digital health, rise in quality of life of some sections of the community, and improvement in the awareness levels/education status of the people, the interaction of the general population has been affected to a great extent.[1]

Acknowledging the dynamics of all these parameters, the role of self-care in the health promotion, prevention, and management of illness is worth mentioning and exploring.[2],[3] In general, self-care refers to the ability of persons, families, and societies to ensure promotion–prevention–maintenance of health and dealing with illnesses, in the presence or absence of assistance from the healthcare personnel.[1] The context of self-care is justifiable as people want to be an active participant in the maintenance of their own health, and this will surely aid them in making the right choice with regard to lifestyle or management of their illnesses.[2] It is worth noting that a major proportion of the self-care occurs beyond the purview of the conventional healthcare delivery system, and whenever self-care and healthcare combine together, the benefits multiply immensely.[2] The utility of self-care can be understood by its application in the various fields till date, such as self-care in the management of noncommunicable diseases, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive health (identification of menstrual days), and mental and neurological health.[2]

From another perspective, encouragement of self-care will play a major part not only in the expansion of health services to the disadvantaged sections of the population but also in enhancing self-efficiency and autonomy and among care providers.[2],[3],[4] Even though self-care plays an important role in maintaining the optimal health and well-being of even normal population, for disadvantaged sections of population, its context becomes different. These population groups are often not aware of the various provisions, and thus, additional efforts have to be taken to make them understand that they themselves can play a defining role in the improvement of their own health. Obviously, it requires extra support and more dedication from the health workers.[2],[3],[4]

The delivery of self-care essentially requires that people should be considered as active participants in taking any informed health decisions, and special attention should be given toward safeguarding human rights and gender equality.[1] The interventions meant to target self-care represent an important facet of the health system and neutralize the various barriers or challenges (viz., gender, cultural, disease, migration, race, and ethnicity), which together play a defining role in the health-seeking behavior of the disadvantaged sections of the population.[2],[3],[4],[5] However, the success of this approach will be extensively determined by the role of health providers.[1],[2]

It is high time to incorporate the component of self-care while formulating health policies or financial decisions, as it has been ignored till date.[2] The concept of self-care is not new and has been widely employed in the management of diabetes, hypertension, sexual and reproductive health (viz., HIV self-testing, self-sampling for sexually transmitted infections, and self-injectable contraceptives), and various other chronic illnesses.[3],[4],[5] However, the self-care field requires extensive research to explore the various areas in which it can be employed for the betterment and well-being of the human population groups.[1],[2]

In conclusion, the need of the hour is to work toward the accomplishment of a supportive and a safe environment to ensure smooth implementation of self-care interventions across the globe. This is important as the combination of self-care, and health care is bound to significantly impact the health indices and well-being of the general population.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Expanding Access to Health Services with Self-Care Interventions; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/expanding-access-to-health- services-with-self-care-interventions. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Narasimhan M, de Iongh A, Askew I, Simpson PJ. It's time to recognise self care as an integral component of health systems. BMJ 2019;365:l1403.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Alencar RA, Parenti ABH, Lopes CC, Ramos FT, Ciosak SI. Aspects that influence the self-care of patients living with human immunodeficiency virus. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem 2019;27:e3112.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Role of self-care in management of diabetes mellitus. J Diabetes Metab Disord 2013;12:14.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Ferguson L, Fried S, Matsaseng T, Ravindran S, Gruskin S. Human rights and legal dimensions of self care interventions for sexual and reproductive health. BMJ 2019;365:l1941.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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