International Self Care Day

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.

Fast Facts:

  • 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.

Self care includes getting regular health screenings. 


  1. International Self Care Foundation. Accessed June 25, 2015.
  2. Self Care Forum. Accessed June 25, 2015.
  3. The Way to Happiness. Accessed June 26, 2015.
  4. Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Accessed June 26, 2015.