With the theme “Working together out of poverty”, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Poverty and poor health go hand-in-hand, with the poor sharing an unequal burden of ill health. What can we as nurses do? We know that investing in education, health care and sound social policy can improve health outcomes. We also know that health is an asset, thus promoting and protecting it must be a key concern. This means that we must be sure we are educated about the determinants of health, about empowerment, and about working with communities and vulnerable groups to address their unique needs.
Nurses are the most trusted of health professions. We can do much to work with and on behalf of poor people. We work with them to ensure that their voices are heard, that they are included in decisions concerning them, and that the inequalities of access, employment, services, gender, ethnicity and race are addressed. Working side-by-side with clients, service providers, community leaders, policy makers and politicians we can do our part to reduce the plague of poverty.
Relevant ICN publications:
- IND Kit 2004
- ICN position statement on Publicly funded accessible health services
- ICN fact sheet on ICN on Poverty and Health: Breaking the Link
- Urbanization, gender and urban poverty: Paid work and unpaid carework in the city (UNFPA 2012)
- Poverty and social exclusion in the WHO European Region: health systems respond. (WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2010).
- Protecting the Poor: A microinsurance compendium, volume II (ILO 2012)
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