A Message from the ISF President and Chairman

The World Health Organizations has stated that self-care “encompasses hygiene (general and personal); nutrition (type and quality of food eaten); lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc.); environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.); socioeconomic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.); and self-medication.” At the National and individual level, the WHO believes that supporting self-care interventions has the potential to:

  • strengthen national institutions to maximize efficient use of domestic resources for health;
  • create health sector innovations; and
  • improve access to medicines and interventions through optimal interfacing between health systems and sites of health care delivery.[1]

The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) is fully aligned with the WHO’s articulation of the value of self-care and has been working to champion self-care around the world. In practical terms this means helping to develop evidence-based self-care concepts and practices and helping to promote the role of self-care in health.

It is particularly import to note that ‘lifestyle’ diseases – particularly heart attack and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes – have reached epidemic proportions in most countries around the world. But did you also know that lifestyle diseases are substantially preventable? Up to 80% of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes, and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors, particularly tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. This means encouraging ‘self-care’ – personal health and wellness management and lifestyle disease prevention.

However, a big challenge in lifestyle disease prevention is that responsibility ultimately rests with each of us as individuals, and there are many practical difficulties. Self-care needs to be a central part of people’s lives, and integrated into families, communities, organisations and society. But being substantially outside current Health and Social Systems, self-care has in the past lacked a champion.

ISF’s Mission is to work with all stakeholders in health, to support countries, communities and individuals in the adoption of evidence-based self-care practices.

If you are an academic expert in any aspect of self-care please get in touch with us via [email protected]

If you are an industrialist or philanthropist and would like to support our work please get in touch with us via [email protected]

In the future, ISF aims to provide simple, practical guidance to help people to self-care. If you can help us with this please get in touch via [email protected] . Together we can all make a difference. Please support this global movement for health and wellness!



David Skinner                                                                                              Zhenyu Guo, PhD.

ISF President                                                                                                ISF Chairman

[1] https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/self-care-interventions/definitions/en/

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