Poised to advance pharmacy practice in the area of self-care, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has introduced new guidance to pharmacists, which supports self-care in six healthcare areas, including sore throat, gastrointestinal complaints, musculoskeletal pain, fever in children, sexual health and disinfection.
The new guidance is contained in the newly published handbook of FIP, which is the latest resource for pharmacists offering self-care services.
Self-care, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a broad concept which also encompasses hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental factors, socioeconomic factors and self-medication.
The apex global health institution also enumerated the importance of self-care interventions to the society, saying it has the potential to strengthen national institutions to maximise efficient use of domestic resources for health; create health sector innovations, including by catalyzing digital and mhealth approaches; and improve access to medicines and interventions through optimal interfacing between health systems and sites of health care delivery.
In a press statement made available to Pharmanewsonline, the FIP noted that the guidance is to help boost pharmaceutical professional services in relation to primary healthcare.
According to Mr Rúben Viegas, co-author of the handbook, the publication is also intended as an advocacy resource for FIP’s member organisations, as it discusses current trends and strategies in self-care and explores innovations adopted across several practice areas.
He said: “Community pharmacists already help people in self-care by giving advice on non-prescription medicines, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle choices, but this new resource from FIP offers added support for these professional services that demonstrate our profession’s commitment to primary healthcare.
“Empowering self-care: A handbook for pharmacists”aims to provide the pharmacy workforce with concise guidance on coaching practices and person-centred approaches to promoting and engaging in self-care. Supporting appropriate care of sore throat and good hygiene could also help reduce the use of antibiotics, the authors point out.
“Self-care is an increasingly important component of healthcare, with further growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, significant implications for health systems and resources, and a potentially huge contribution to universal health coverage. With this handbook, we want to support and engage the front-line pharmacy workforce to overcome the obstacles to self-care, which include regulatory barriers and low health literacy”.