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, , 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. 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.


The provision of adequate health care in underdeveloped countries is a complex and multifaceted challenge. Numerous factors such as poverty, limited resources, and lack of infrastructure contribute to the difficulties faced in providing effective health care to the neediest populations. In this discussion, we will explore two key challenges related to providing health care in underdeveloped countries and suggest two strategies to address these challenges. Additionally, we will examine one effective strategy that nurses can employ to advocate for health care at the global level.

Challenges in Providing Adequate Health Care

1. Limited Resources and Infrastructure

One of the major challenges in providing adequate health care in underdeveloped countries is the limited availability of resources and the lack of infrastructure. These countries often face economic constraints, resulting in a shortage of medical supplies, personnel, and facilities. Additionally, the lack of a robust healthcare infrastructure makes it difficult for individuals to access healthcare services, exacerbating the already precarious situation.

2. Inequality and Disparities

Another significant challenge is the presence of inequalities and disparities in health care. Underdeveloped countries frequently experience a stark divide between urban and rural areas, with rural populations having limited access to healthcare facilities. The lack of healthcare providers and facilities in rural areas further compounds the problems faced by marginalized populations. Additionally, there may be disparities in distribution and allocation of healthcare resources, resulting in limited access for those in need.

Strategies to Address Challenges

1. Strengthening Health Infrastructure

To address the challenge of limited resources and infrastructure, a crucial strategy is the strengthening of health infrastructure. This involves investing in building healthcare facilities, training healthcare professionals, and improving the supply chain for essential medical supplies. By supporting the development of healthcare infrastructure, underdeveloped countries can enhance their capacity to provide adequate health care to their populations.

2. Promoting Community Health Education

To combat inequalities and disparities in health care, it is essential to promote community health education. By educating individuals about basic health practices, disease prevention, and available healthcare services, communities can become more proactive in managing their health. This strategy empowers individuals to take control of their health and equips them with knowledge to demand better healthcare services and access.

Advocacy at the Global Level

Nurses play a pivotal role in advocating for health care at the global level. One effective strategy nurses can employ is to participate in global health initiatives and collaborate with international organizations. By joining forces with other healthcare professionals, policymakers, and humanitarian groups, nurses can amplify their voices and advocate for the health needs of the poor and underserved on a global scale. This strategy helps bring attention to the challenges faced by underdeveloped countries and mobilizes resources and support for improving health care at a systemic level.


Providing adequate health care in underdeveloped countries is an ongoing challenge. Limited resources and infrastructure, as well as inequalities and disparities, hinder the provision of effective health care services. To address these challenges, strategies such as strengthening health infrastructure and promoting community health education can make a significant impact. Moreover, nurses advocating for health care at the global level by participating in international initiatives can bring about systemic change. By addressing these challenges and employing effective strategies, nurses can play a crucial role in improving the health outcomes of the neediest populations around the world.