How can self-care help health systems rebuild better during COVID-19?

720x413 RBB health images2
Join us for the live written panel discussion to assess how self-care health systems can help rebuild better during COVID-19. This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Virtual Summit on Health

LIVE Panel

Thursday 15 October, 10am-11am EST/ 3pm-4pm BST


Even before COVID-19 the World Health Organisation had estimated that half the world’s population lacked access to basic health services, putting the achievement of SDG 3 in serious doubt. Now the stakes are even higher as COVID-19 puts health systems under ever greater pressure and lays bare stark inequalities when it comes to access to healthcare.

A new Business Fights Poverty Challenge with life sciences company Bayer, is exploring how wider uptake of ‘self-care’ approaches can reduce pressure on strained health systems, improve vulnerable people’s health outcomes and empower individuals and communities in the process. Self-care innovations currently include self testing HIV kits in Kenya to telemedicine campaigns being led by US pharmacies and much more in between.

Despite a clear definition and guidance from the WHO, and the economic benefits of self-care, it is still not used as widely as possible. COVID-19 provides a window of opportunity to seriously build support for self-care approaches - both to effectively continue to respond to the emergency and for the longer- term with regard to cardiovascular disease, healthy pregnancies and immunity.


  • Amira Ghouaibi, Global Council on the Future of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum
  • Dr Austen El-Osta, Director- Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU), Department of Primary Care & Public Health, Imperial College London
  • Daniella Foster, Global VP & Head, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, Consumer Health, Bayer
  • Donna Castle, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, PAGB, Consumer HealthCare Association
  • Judy Stenmark, CEO, Global Self-Care Federation
  • Dr Elise Dallas, GP Clinic Lead and GP Safeguarding Lead, Babylon Health
  • Gillian Christie, Senior Manager, Business Development, Walmart Health , and Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Margaux Yost, HERProject, Health Lead, BSR
  • Dr Kayode Afolabi, Director, Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria
  • Óscar Serrano Oria, Program Specialist - Nutrition and ECD, UNICEF UK
  • Pierre Moon, Director, Population Services International and Self Care Trailblazers Group
  • Alice Allan, Challenge Director, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)


  1. What are the benefits of self-care (to individuals and economies),
  2. How do we negotiate the barriers to self-care (including access, affordability and regulation)
  3. How do we build a broader movement in support of self-care.


This is a text-based discussion. Panelists will be sharing their insights live below in writing. There is LIVE video meeting taking place in parallel for you to meet and interact with other participants. After the live session, this discussion will remain open, so please do continue to share your insights.

How to add your comments

To post a comment, you will need to sign in / sign up to the Business Fights Poverty Discussion Forum:

If you are already a member of the Business Fights Poverty online community, click “Log In” at the top right of the page and then enter your details. If you have not logged into our new community platform, you will have to reset your password here

If you are not already a member of the Business Fights Poverty online community, you will need to sign up here . Once you are have joined the community, you can return to this discussion page, click “Log In” at the top right of the page and then enter your details.

To watch other highlights of the day click below

*** Very excited, we will be starting in 5 mins ***

1 Like

Looking forward to today’s discussion!

Hi everyone - we look forward to welcoming you to this live written discussion, starting in a few moments. There is a LIVE video meeting taking place in parallel for you to meet and interact with other participants. For those who have registered, you will find the link on the agenda.

Same! Looking forward!

Really looking forward to joining this conversation

Looking forward to the conversation!

I’m in! sorry for the delay

3 mins to go should be great

*** Welcome to our online written discussion - firstly I would like to invite everyone to introduce themselves. ****

Hello, I’m Alice Allan, from Business Fights Poverty, currently leading a Challenge with Bayer on how self- care can help health systems rebuild better during COVID-19. Really looking forward to your insights as they will help form a key part of the toolkit we will put together during this Challenge.

1 Like

Hi everyone! I’m Daniella Foster, Global Vice President of Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability in Bayer’s Consumer Health Division. I’m thrilled to be here today to talk about self-care and how we can elevate the self-care agenda within the healthcare continuum. It’s a topic that’s incredibly important to us at Bayer and to me, personally.

Hi all,
My name is Margaux Yost. I am the global lead for BSR HERproject’s health pillar and oversees the program’s expansion in East Africa by addressing women’s rights and needs in supply chains, strengthening multistakeholder partnerships to open industry-level roundtable dialogues, and developing HERproject’s monitoring and evaluation framework and approach. Looking forward to today’s discussion!

1 Like

Hello everyone. I’m Austen El-Osta, Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) at Imperial College London.
The Unit was developed in 2017 & is a tripartite collaboration between Imperial College London School of Public Health, the International Self-Care Foundation & the Self-Care Forum. SCARU remains to date as the only university academic research unit in the world dedicated to the study of self-care.
I’m really pleased to be part of this meeting to talk about something that is really important & topical in 2020!

1 Like

Hello, I’m Donna Castle, from PAGB, the consumer healthcare association.
We represent the manufacturers of branded over-the-counter medicines, self care medical devices and food supplements in the UK.


Hello everyone, my name is Pierre Moon. Working for Population Services International based in the US, I support a number of health interventions in a number of health markets, and self care has featured large as one element of those programs in recent years. I am delighted this conversation is happening and to be here today.

1 Like

Hi. I am Óscar Serrano Oria, Nutrition and ECD programmes specialist with Unicef UK, very
glad to be here.

1 Like

Our first question today:
What are the benefits of self-care (to individuals and economies)?

Many thanks, Katie. It’s a pleasure to be part of this panel. I am Amira Ghouaibi, I am community lead and council manager for health and healthcare at the World Economic Forum. I have over ten years of experience in global health and healthcare, with expertise in public health, partnerships and stakeholder management. I am passionate about health promotion / prevention, especially towards vulnerable populations. I am also convinced about the need to implement early childhood development programs.

1 Like

Hello – Thank you to BFP for hosting this important event, I am delighted to be here today! My name is Gillian Christie and I am a Senior Manager at Walmart Health, focused on advancing the health strategy for their consumers, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

1 Like