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Clin Nurse Spec. 2010 Jan-Feb;24(1):14-7. doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3181c4ac13.

Health promotion in Kenya: a volunteer nurse's experience.

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  • 1Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, Hadassah Medical Center, Kiryat Hadassah, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


This article presents a case study describing how nurses can improve the health behaviors of people living in developing countries. Difficulties and potential solutions are presented. Health promotion allows people to exert control over their health to improve it. A primary difficulty of health promotion in developing countries is communication between care providers and patients. One solution is the utilization of an interpreter; however, in the present study, no professional interpreters were available, thereby complicating the comprehension of new health-related concepts. Another challenge is to understand the patients' perspectives as related to healthcare values. Additionally, as a result of a dearth of evidence-based research in developing countries, difficulties arise in implementing, assessing, and evaluating health promotion programs. Despite these obstacles, nurses continue to travel to developing countries to promote health. Recommendations include respect for a community's health values and incorporation of these values into healthcare planning. To be accepted as a teacher by the local population, the nurse must be able to set aside his/her personal beliefs relating to healthcare, well-being, and disease. Health promotion initiatives should include the means for implementation, thereby enabling the local population to develop skills that will allow them to carry out health promotion projects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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