The development and adoption of self care in the Irish health system needs to be an all year effort according to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA). The two bodies have today launched a new self care awareness campaign, entitled ‘Be Well this Summer – Think Pharmacy’ designed to highlight the benefits to the public of looking after their health during the summer period.
The campaign will be rolled out over a four-month period and will involve social media video content, as well as a series of posters to be displayed nationwide in retail pharmacies. It will actively promote self care throughout the summer as well as the valuable role of the pharmacist in supporting self care.
Self care is defined as the care taken by people of their own health and wellbeing at the lowest level of complexity with advice from a healthcare professional. Self care supports people to stay healthy, especially during more vulnerable times and empowers people to manage important elements of their own and their loved one’s healthcare needs. Previous research by Behaviour & Attitudes confirms that there is a clear desire from the majority of people (92%) to be involved in decisions about their own health and medication, with 80% saying that they see their pharmacist as a key partner in maintaining their health.
While many people are known to take a more conscious approach to self care during the winter months, and particularly during the flu season, this campaign is designed to highlight the ongoing benefits of self care throughout the year.
IPU Vice President Eoghan Hanly said, “Many of us are very diligent in managing our health and living a healthy lifestyle when illnesses like coughs and colds are going around. During the summer this can lapse, however, and it is important that we should all manage our health proactively throughout the year. From hay fever to sun care, there is a range of healthcare considerations that should not be ignored during the summer. Our advice to the public is to take care and seek advice in their local pharmacy.”
IPHA Consumer Healthcare Division Chairman John Sheehy said, “IPHA is committed to working in partnership with the IPU and its members to promote the value of self care. The value to people and society is immense. This campaign is the latest iteration of such collaboration with the IPU and will be an important initiative in encouraging people to manage their own health this summer in a more pro-active way.”
The campaign will be advising the public to ‘Think Pharmacy’ in relation to a number of summer health matters, including:
- Hay Fever: There is a range of treatments available from your pharmacist, which can dramatically reduce symptoms of hay fever. However, as with many self care treatments, preventative action is the most effective.
- Sun care: Pharmacies can advise on the prevention of sunburn and other sun-related risks. They can also advise on the best treatments should you suffer from sunburn, including the appropriate creams and painkillers to relieve symptoms.
- Holidays: Before any trip abroad, visit your pharmacy to make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications you need. Your pharmacist can also provide advice on the prevention and treatment of holiday health issues like upset tummy, insect bites and skin reactions.