The findings proved that the students connected sustainable development to health with a strong link. Health was seen as a precondition for sustainable development, and because of enormous challenges related to sustainable development, wider intersectoral collaboration was seen obligatory. The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 set by the United Nations in 2000 formed the framework for sustainable development. Reducing poverty and mortality and ensuring better living conditions for future generations were seen as the outcomes of sustainable development. The students considered the role of nurses and other health care professionals to be very important in promoting sustainability as they create an awareness of health risks and environmental hazards. Creating an awareness was
70 considered to require involvement from the government in form of funds allocation to research programs and the implementation of national strategies. Health promotion in supporting sustainable development Sustainable development was strongly considered as the outcome of health promotion. The contents of educational activities included the harmful effects of processed food, tobacco products and alcohol. The sedentary lifestyle in present societies was seen as a cause for long-term illnesses that destroy the health of individuals. The students presumed that this lifestyle disturbs the development of healthy communities, not only in this generation, but also in future ones. The sedentary lifestyle is destroying the health of the population: rapidly increasing rates of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, respiratory tract illnesses, heart diseases and cancers were explained to be among the threats to sustainable development at the community level. When describing sustainable development, the nursing students underlined also the importance of the prevention of malnutrition, mental health problems and communicable diseases. The students focused on education as the main means to promote sustainable development. Education was seen as important for creating a common understanding and knowledge-base, because sustainability means different things to different people. The target of education was the whole nation; school children, people in communities, busy business people and marginalized groups were mentioned in particular. In addition to these, education should always be implemented at the individual level when meeting patients. Nurses’ professional and ethical responsibility is to educate people, as a student wrote: The nurse is in general the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf. Another student stated: Health professionals have the responsibility to educate the nation.
71 Thus nurses’ responsibility was seen to be that they act as advocators of sustainable development by implementing health promotion programs in communities, hospitals and schools. In addition, the prevention of road accidents and environmental hazards were suggested to be included in education provided by nurses.
- Summer '20
- Dr joseph