The phrase “prevention is better than cure” highlights the importance of self-care. The World Self-Medication Industry, an NGO, in association with World Health Organization celebrates 24th of July as International Self-Care day. The objective of this endeavour is to raise the profile of healthy lifestyle self-care programmes around the world.
- Around 80% of premature heart diseases, stroke and diabetes may be prevented and managed by responsible self-care.
- In total, there are over 100,000 non-prescription medicines available worldwide for patients and consumers.
Why Self Care?
Healthy people have a duty to maintain their own health through self care. The incorporation of healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, healthy eating and responsible self-medication in your daily life can reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Long-term conditions can be managed efficiently with people taking care of themselves better and taking their medications appropriately.
Tips for self-care:
As an individual, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle, use health resources only when needed and practice self-care. Take a look at few ways by which you can take good care of yourself:
1. Eat healthy: Try to maintain a balanced diet, including nourishing food and adequate fluid intake.
2. Maintain body hygiene: Wash your hands, take a bath, brush your teeth regularly and keep yourself clean to ward off germs and diseases.
3. Get care when you are sick: Get medical help when you are unwell. Take proper precautions and medication as advised to prevent others from risk.
4. Get rest: Ensure adequate sleep so that your body is rested and functions efficiently.
5. Say no to drugs: Stay away from illicit drugs or any kind of substance abuse.
6. Monitor your health: Go for regular health check-ups and take precautionary vaccinations. Follow basic guidelines while self-medicating and use certified self-care products only.
Guidelines for safe self-medication:
Some medicines do not require a prescription, but you should be responsible in the use of over-the-counter medication by following these instructions:
- Medicines should be of proven safety and good quality.
- Before attempting to self-medicate, determine whether your condition and symptoms can be managed through self-care or if expert advice and medical treatment from a healthcare professional is needed.
- Be extra cautious if pregnant women, the elderly or children are involved.
- Always comply with the directions for dosage and duration of use on the product packaging and enclosed leaflets.
- Consult healthcare professionals to obtain as much information as possible to ensure safe and responsible self-medication.
Did you know?
International Self-Care Day is observed on July 24 to reiterate the fact that the benefits of self-care should be felt 24 hours a day, seven days a week or 24/7.
- International Self Care Foundation. Accessed June 25, 2015.
- Self Care Forum. Accessed June 25, 2015.
- The Way to Happiness. Accessed June 26, 2015.
- Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Accessed June 26, 2015.