The Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with John Snow Inc (JSI) and other stakeholders have called for the scale-up of selfcare services in the country.
They made the call at a 2-day “National Stakeholders Meeting to review the Self-care Indicator Framework”, yesterday in Abuja.
JSI In-Country lead for Self-Care Accelerator Project (S-CAP), Miranda Buba Atare said “We would like to be able to include those selfcare interventions that are not in the routine PHC services, so that we can be able to measure them effectively.”
She however noted that selfcare services are not new and are already existing within the programme areas. “HIV self testing is not new, using oral contraceptive pills is also not new,” she said.
Speaking on the review of selfcare indicators, Buba said “Selfcare guidelines is there, the demand generation strategy is there and the task shifting/task sharing policy is also there. With the development of the indicators, putting them together will help us to be able to measure our progress towards scaleup.
Buba, however, noted that even while people are interested in selfcare, there is need to ensure that it is done in safety and with the support of the health system.
The director, family health department, FMoH, Boladale Alonge, said selfcare has the potential to propel the country’s effort towards attaining UHC if well managed.
She also said that “with Nigeria’s rapidly growing population and the inadequacy of healthcare facilities, it is important to explore ways of reducing the dependence of the population on health care facilities for things they can do for themselves with or without the assistance of a healthcare worker.
“National Selfcare Guidelines have stipulated the roles of stakeholders and individuals towards ensuring quality and seamless scaleup of selfcare interventions in the country,” Alonge added.
The director restated the commitment of the ministry to work with stakeholders on the introduction and scaleup of selfcare information, services and products.