United Nations partners call for investments in self-care interventions to improve sexual and reproductive health

Image with the logos of WHO, HRP, UNDP, UNFPA and THE WORLD BANKOn the side-lines of the World Health Summit in Berlin, United Nations (UN) agencies launched a joint statement to call for greater commitments and investments in self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health and rights, which aim to help people gain autonomy over their health while improving access to vital healthcare.

Front cover of the Joint statement

Closely following commitments made by world leaders at the UN General Assembly to redouble efforts towards universal health coverage by 2030, the joint interagency statement emphasizes the potential of self-care interventions to improve global healthcare access. It calls for coordinated, strategic action in five areas – financing; the health and care workforce; partnerships and accountability; improving quality regulation, and research.

“Self-care interventions offer huge potential in ensuring people have access to the sexual and reproductive health services they need,” said Pascale Allotey, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Special Programme of Research, Development and Training on Human Reproduction (HRP). “Expanding availability of high-quality self-care options will not only improve agency and autonomy within healthcare, it will also help achieve health for all.”

Many people around the world currently lack access to essential sexual and reproductive health services. Every day, an estimated 800 women die from preventable causes linked to pregnancy and childbirth and 1 million newly transmitted sexual infections are acquired.

Self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health include: self-administering injectable contraception, self-sampling to screen for human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV self-testing, ovulation predictor kits, and self-managing medical abortion.

The five agencies calling for action are: HRP, WHO, the United Nations Development Programme ((UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank.

The joint statement is available in English, French and Spanish (coming soon).

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