Major strides have been made so that people could access safe drinking water and the facility of sanitation but these basic services are still missing for billions of individuals, mostly living in the countryside. Therefore, the goal which is chosen for the discussion is goal number 6 which is created by the United Nations so that focus could be given on sustainable development. This goal makes sure that every individual has availability of water and as well as sanitation. In the statistics, it is shown that 1 out of 3 people in the world do not have clean or safe water for drinking purpose and 2 out of 5 individuals do not have the facility of hand-washing by making use of water and soap. With that, the ratios also show 673 million people are still involved in open defecation (United Nations, Sustainable development goals, 2020).
The problem of clean water and sanitation is very big because children and adults die due to preventable water diseases. They also suffer from diarrheal illnesses which also causes morbidity and mortality in them. Diarrhoea causes 485 000 deaths each year. With that, 70% of deaths happen due to natural disasters which are water-related such as floods (United Nations, Sustainable development goals, 2020). Moreover, 2 billion people make usage of drinking water which contains faeces in them. This kind of water is the reason for diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis A and polio among people. And it is forecasted that by the year 2025, half the population of the world will be living in areas which are water-stressed. Within the countries which are not developed, 22% of health facilities do not have water services and about 21% of them have no service of sanitation (World Health Organization, 2020). Poor sanitation also leads to malnutrition and diseases like schistosomiasis, intestinal worms and trachoma (World Health Organization, 2020).
The problem of unclean drinking water and improper sanitation could cause diseases in people which in turn increases the burden on the healthcare facilities and on community. Therefore, this can impact the health status of individuals significantly. Hence, this is the main concern for the nursing profession and nursing professionals. Nurses help in achieving goal number 6 of the United Nations in multiple ways. They partner with the community and thus collaborate with other healthcare professionals to address the safety and health of the individuals which are under danger of developing water-associated diseases due to water and sanitation problem (Arcipowski et al., 2017). In addition to that, they assist patients at the time of illnesses and thus ensure that patient safety is preserved. Nurses also engage with patients in a professional and therapeutic manner so that the health promotion of the patient could be done. They also provide education and information to diseased individuals so that people could control their health and that it could be enhanced (Nursing and Midwifery board APHRA, 2020).
The potential step which could further be taken by nurses is to conduct community-based assessment so that community people needs and requirements are properly known. By doing this, the problem of clean water and sanitation could be acknowledged more effectively. Nurses could also impart knowledge of safe drinking water and personal hygiene among people. They can motivate them to defecate in a proper place so that diseases associated with sanitation would not spread (Joshi & Amadi, 2013). Therefore, they can give knowledge about hygiene and safe practices to community people so that they become more involved in safe-conducts. In addition to that, nurses could provide interventions about water treatment to the people so that diseases like diarrhoea and other infections could be reduced. Also, nurses could evaluate results and revise their practices accordingly (Joshi & Amadi, 2013; Nursing and Midwifery board APHRA, 2020).
The barrier which could be faced by nurses to enhance the practice of clean water and proper sanitation among people is the attitude and behaviour of community people. Individuals themselves sometimes do not want to engage in healthy behaviour because the topic does not interest them. Thus, they show disengagement in the interventions which are provided by the nurses (Stewart et al., 2018). The other barrier for nurses is that they have a heavy workload and there are infrastructural deficits which hinder the health promotion or education process. Nurses have to work with multiple diseased patients at the same time and occasionally they do not have time for therapeutic engagements with the patient. With that, even if they have time, sometimes they are not provided with resources from the healthcare organization such as soap or hand sanitizers so that they can impart knowledge about hygiene to people (Ataiyero et al., 2019).
The facilitator which could help nurses to enhance the practice of clean water and proper sanitation among people is the quality of leadership. Because of leadership, nurses take on the additional responsibility of health promotion among community people so that safe performance could be told to them. Leadership makes them influence people so that they also engage in safe sanitation practices (Wakefield, 2017). By doing health promotion, awareness is spread about clean drinking water also. With that, another facilitator is to deliver care in such a way that it manipulates public policymaking. By doing this, nurses expand their involvement in health practices and thus help in transforming policies and standards for the betterment and welfare of the people (Wakefield, 2017).
The first solution which could be applied to nursing practice within the goal context is the building of a safe and protective environment by the nurses to offer care to people. Nurses could make sure that the practice that they are delivering is safe so that people health status is maintained. With that, they can create strategies to protect people by giving knowledge to them about clean water and sanitization so that improvement could be seen in their health (Terry et al., 2015). They can also train individuals to make them indulge in safe practices. Hence, by doing all of this nurses can make an environment which addresses the needs of people and make them aware about dangerous and unhealthy practices which can lead to the decline of the health status of people (Terry et al., 2015; Barrett et al., 2016).
The second solution which could be applied to nursing practice within the goal context in promoting health literacy. Nurses can take action to prevent individuals from infectious and non-infectious diseases which are rising from unclean water and improper sanitation. They can do this by imparting knowledge and information among community and healthcare organization members about the diseases and their cause (Edmonson et al., 2017). They can also let individuals know how to stop or manage problems by providing them with solutions. Nurses can plan with people and thus make them ready to take suitable steps to reduce the risk of diseases. With that, they can take help from interdisciplinary healthcare workers to increase health literacy. Therefore, by doing all this, nurses could help in promoting health literacy so that people problems related to water and sanitation could be solved and that they live quality life (Edmonson et al., 2017).
Arcipowski, E., Schwartz, J., Davenport, L., Hayes, M., & Nolan, T. (2017). Clean water, clean life: Promoting healthier, accessible water in rural Appalachia. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 161(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1936-704X.2017.3248.x
Ataiyero, Y., Dyson, J., & Graham, M. (2019). Barriers to hand hygiene practices among health care workers in sub-Saharan African countries: A narrative review. American Journal of Infection Control, 47(5), 565–573. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2018.09.014
Barrett, A., Terry, D. R., Lê, Q., & Hoang, H. (2016). Factors influencing community nursing roles and health service provision in rural areas: A review of literature. Contemporary Nurse, 52(1), 119-135.
Edmonson, C., McCarthy, C., Trent-Adams, S., McCain, C., & Marshall, J. (2017). Emerging global health issues: A nurse’s role. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 22(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol22No01Man02
Joshi, A., & Amadi, C. (2013). Impact of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions on improving health outcomes among school children. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2013, 984626. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/984626
Nursing and Midwifery board APHRA. (2020). Registered nurse standards for practice. Retrieved from https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional-standards/registered-nurse-standards-for-practice.aspx
Stewart, C. P., Kariger, P., Fernald, L., Pickering, A. J., Arnold, C. D., Arnold, B. F., Hubbard, A. E., Dentz, H. N., Lin, A., Meerkerk, T. J., Milner, E., Swarthout, J., Colford, J. M., Jr, & Null, C. (2018). Effects of water quality, sanitation, handwashing, and nutritional interventions on child development in rural Kenya (WASH Benefits Kenya): A cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. Child & Adolescent Health, 2(4), 269–280. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30025-7
Terry, D., Lê, Q., Nguyen, U., & Hoang, H. (2015). Workplace health and safety issues among community nurses: A study regarding the impact on providing care to rural consumers. BMJ Open, 5(8), e008306. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008306
United Nations, Sustainable development goals. (2020). Goals 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/
Wakefield M. K. (2017). Nurse leadership in global health: New opportunities, important priorities. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(1), 6–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2017.12.002
World Health Organization. (2020). Drinking water. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water
World Health Organization. (2020). Sanitation. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation
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