What Can Nurses Do?
Many people, most of them in tropical countries of the Third World, die of preventable,
curable diseases. . . . Malaria, tuberculosis, acute lower-respiratory infections in 1998, these
claimed 6.1 million lives. People died because the drugs to treat those illnesses are
nonexistent or are no longer effective. They died because it doesn’t pay to keep them alive.
Ken Silverstein, Millions for Viagra. Pennies for Diseases of the Poor, The Nation, July 19,
Unfortunately, since 1998, little has changed. For many individuals living in impoverished
underdeveloped countries, even basic medical care is difficult to obtain. Although
international agencies sponsor outreach programs and corporations, and although
nonprofit organizations donate goods and services, the level of health care remains far
below what is necessary to meet the needs of struggling populations. Polluted water
supplies, unsanitary conditions, and poor nutrition only exacerbate the poor health
prevalent in these environments. Nurses working in developed nations have many
opportunities/advantages that typically are not available to those in underdeveloped
countries. What can nurses do to support their international colleagues and advocate for
the poor and underserved of the world?
In this Discussion, you will consider the challenges of providing health care for the world’s
neediest citizens, as well as how nurses can advocate for these citizens.
�Consider the challenges of providing health care in underdeveloped countries.
�Conduct research in the Walden Library and other reliable resources to determine
strategies being used to address these challenges.
�Using this week’s Learning Resources, note the factors that impact the ability of
individuals in underdeveloped nations to obtain adequate health care.
�Consider strategies nurses can use to advocate for health care at the global level. What
can one nurse do to make a difference?
Post by Day 3 a description of at least two challenges related to providing adequate health
care in underdeveloped countries. Then, describe two strategies you might use to address
those challenges, and explain why. Finally, describe one strategy nurses might use in
advocating for health care at the global level, and explain why this would be an effective
What Nurses Can Do
Many people in tropical 3 rd world countries die from curable and preventable diseases
because of absence of and non-effectiveness of the drugs used in treating them. There are low
healthcare levels regardless of outreach corporations and programs sponsored by international
agencies and services and goods donated by nonprofit organizations. Provision of healthcare in
WHAT NURSES CAN DO 2
these environments is also hindered by poor nutrition, unsanitary conditions, and polluted water
supplies. Nurses also lack opportunities to offer proper healthcare.
There are many challenges that hinder adequate healthcare provision in underdeveloped
nations. National health programmes in underdeveloped nations fail because of multifactoral
reasons. Government officials use a lackadaisical approach when implementing the programmes
(Siela, Twibell & Keller, 2008). The government contribution is half hearted and the funds are
diverted for constructing buildings as well as buying equipments and vehicles. As a result, the
beneficiaries receive not more than 1% worth of the programme’s envisaged. All people
involved in the chain of programme implementation are accountable for this. To ensure that this
challenge is solved, the beneficiaries who are mostly rural people should cease being meek
passive observers and turn into active decision makers during implementation and planning of
the programs (Siela, Twibell & Keller, 2008).
A majority of the developing countries are plagued with challenges of hosts of infections
and under nutrition. In addition, there are diarrheal diseases epidemics, which is a reflection of
poor sanitation. Millions of people hold onto the dream of safe drinking water. In a nutshell,
these people have many health related challenges such that accessing quality care is a challenge.
The government has a role in solving all factors that lead to poor health (Siela, Twibell & Keller,
Nurses can use many strategies to advocate for global healthcare. Nurses’ associations
are a cardinal vehicle through which policies can be influenced globally and nationally. Nurses
possess the skills and qualities that are gained from their nursing practice and which are valuable
in policy development. Notably, nurses work constantly with the health service delivery cost-
WHAT NURSES CAN DO 3
quality constraints and, therefore, they are in a perfect position to offer and provide advice on
policies that focus on cost-effectiveness.
WHAT NURSES CAN DO 4
Siela, D., Twibell, K. R., & Keller, V. (2008). The shortage of nurses and nursing faculty: what
critical care nurses can do. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 19(1), 66-67.