Where Health Care Meets Self Care

The term “self care” has myriad meanings in the modern vernacular.

In a special series from The BMJ and BMJ Global Health, authors home in on where it aligns with and amplifies health care systems—through the lens of sexual and reproductive health rights.

The evidence laid out in the series informs forthcoming WHO guidance on the topic. Crucially, notes an editorial, self care is not a replacement for formal health services nor a shortcut to achieving UHC.

In one piece, Zhou Tian and Allen Wu discuss the limited availability of Pap smears and HPV tests and vaccines in China—and how an inexpensive at-home kit could fill the gap for underserved women.

And as self care expands, so does self care waste, as Ash Pachauri and colleagues discuss in another piece highlighting the importance of sustainable disposal systems for self care products.

The BMJ

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