Until the next International Self-Care Day

An annual opportunity to put a spotlight on the benefits of self-care.

#SelfCareIndex #SelfCareIndex2
#SelfCareIndex #SelfCareIndex2

Self-Care Readiness Index

What is the index?

The Index is an advocacy-centered research initiative. At its core, the Index was developed as a conversation starter. It is intended to serve as a practical tool to better understand and recognize what the enablers of self-care are and how to improve them. It also serves as a catalyst for further debate on the importance of self-care as an effective tool to improve the long-term sustainability and productivity of health care systems and aims to enhance individual health outcomes.

Spearheaded by The Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF), the SCRI is supported  by the World Health Organisation (WHO)  and forms part of the current working plan between the two bodies. The research  includes a combination of in-depth qualitative and quantitative methodology supported  by experts and an advisory board. It aims  to provide policymakers, decision-makers,  and healthcare professionals with data and  to become an innovative learning platform  that inspires new approaches to self-care.

Which countries?

How were the countries covered by the Index selected?

In an effort to be reflective of global concerns and in line with broader policy conversations on issues such as universal health coverage and the management of non-communicable diseases, the Self-Care Readiness Index includes at least one country per each of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) six regions: Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific. Each editions contains ten countries.

The specific countries were chosen in consultation with WHO experts with an eye to including both developed and less-developed self-care markets. We also selected countries that demonstrated adequate and accessible documentation on self-care policies and practices so as to facilitate primary and secondary research efforts.


Using the WHO’s definition as a jumping-off point, self-care as defined in this report refers to a broad range of activities, practices, and products that individuals can adopt to improve their health and well-being. In particular, self-care involves making healthy lifestyle choices and avoiding unhealthy habits; making responsible use of both prescription and nonprescription medicines; recognizing symptoms of common illnesses and diseases; managing one’s own treatment of colds, coughs, and other minor ailments; and self-monitoring, self-testing, and self-management of health conditions. Self-care products may include nonprescription medicines, dietary supplements, vitamins, and simple medical devices and tests designed for home use.

Given this definition, the Self-Care Readiness Index is based on four key enablers – the broad elements needed to realize the full potential of self-care in a given health system: 1. Stakeholder Support & Adoption, 2. Consumer & Patient Empowerment, 3. Self-Care Health Policy, 4. Regulatory Environment.


Each of the four enablers is supported by three or four measurable indicators of self-care readiness – which in some cases are broken down into even more concrete sub-indicators or proof points. For each indicator and sub-indicator, the research team gathered evidence through a combination of extensive desk research, expert interviews, and online surveys of healthcare providers and consumers.

The Self-Care Readiness Index Reports