International Self-Care Movement Goes Global to Promote This Underexploited Weapon in Fighting Killer Diseases
HONG KONG and GENEVA, July 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
International Self-Care movement, launched in China last year, goes global in
celebrating 24 July (24/7) as International Self-Care Day. It encourages individual
responsibility for health by raising awareness of the basic steps to achieve well-being
through self-care and calls on public authorities to recognize the crucial role of
self-care in reducing the socio-economic burden of diseases. The movement also appeals for
establishing a UN World Self-Care Day to raise awareness of the importance of self-care
around the world.
Today Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) lead to 63% of annual deaths worldwide and are
recognized as a global killer and major health challenge, which touches individuals as
well as society with the economic burden estimated at $30 trillion over the next 20 years.
Yet NCDs are preventable to a large extent through better self-care – up to 80% of
heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes and over a third of cancers could be prevented
by individuals avoiding risks such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and
the harmful use of alcohol.
“We all have a right to health but also a responsibility to play our part through
simple self-care habits. When practiced 24/7, they make a huge difference to our
wellbeing,” says Dr Zhenyu Guo, the founder of the movement and initiator of the first
Self-Care Day in China in 2011.
David Webber from WSMI [http://www.wsmi.org ] believes that “self-care is catching on.
Initiatives in support of self-care are taking place around the world. Individuals and
decision-makers are starting to appreciate self-care as a powerful weapon to tackle the
burden of diseases in terms of their impact on public health budgets and the toll they
take on individuals.”
However, despite some progress in recognizing the crucial role of self-care, it is
still not seen as an integral part of effective health care systems, which are currently
oriented to disease treatment. Its benefits are also not sufficiently appreciated by
policy makers or the general public to make a tangible difference.
The International Self-Care movement wishes the UN to recognize Self-Care Day on 24
July. “Through raising awareness, we want to encourage people to be active participants in
their own self-care and also motivate governments to create self-care friendly policies
both within and outside current health systems,” explains Dr Guo.
SOURCE International Self-Care Foundation