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What Can Nurses Do?

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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, 1999

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.

To prepare:

  • 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?

By Day 3

Post 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 strategy.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

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