#YesToSelfCare is a campaign by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, South Asia Region and Feminism in India that talks about how self-care interventions in sexual and reproductive health can be a possible alternative to facility-based healthcare services for young people.
Self-care offers an opportunity to youth to access healthcare services that are often culturally taboo without discrimination and stigma – helping the health system to better meet their needs.
Self-care interventions are strategies by which people especially youth can take control of their own health by taking control of sexual and reproductive health. This includes health promotion (eg, HIV self-testing), preventing and controlling illness and disease (eg, pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention), and self-treatment and medication (eg, self-managed abortion unsupervised by a healthcare provider).
The self-care approach is underpinned by the key principles of human rights, ethics, and gender equality.
Self-care interventions may be particularly effective for communities at higher risk and in humanitarian crises when countries may lack sufficient trained health workers, health infrastructures, and informed sexual and reproductive health practices and policies.
What have we done so far?
The International Planned Parenthood Federation, South Asia Region along with its Member Associations is facilitating various self-care interventions across South Asia. Be it a chatbot on sexual health, home-based delivery of contraceptives and SRH services via trained frontline workers amidst crises, telemedicine or home-based abortion.
It further generates evidence to influence policy, engaging with private providers like pharmacists, training community health workers and generating demand for self-care.
Self-care interventions, such as over-the-counter oral contraceptives; pregnancy tests; ovulation kits, menstrual trackers (paper-based and digital- mobile app-based); comprehensive, reliable verified health information and referral and HIV self-testing, can put the power of health into the hands of youth.
Specific to crisis settings IPPF South Asia Region is supporting Member Association the Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA) in Afghanistan to deliver contraceptives, and antenatal and postnatal care (reproductive health care) at doorsteps.