SDG 3 is ensuring good health and well-being for all at all ages. We all deserve to be healthy and able to achieve what we need in our lives. However, to ensure the health of everyone, we also need to address gaps in services, treatment and coverage for vulnerable populations too. We can do this by developing strategies to positively impact the mortality rates of mothers, children, substance users, the extremely poor and other minority groups who have difficulty addressing their health needs. Additionally, this goal seeks to improve access to universal health care, access to affordable medicines and sexual and reproductive health care services for everyone. Through improved access to health care around the world, strong research, health finance and early warning systems, we can address and reduce epidemics such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, mental health and cancer. We can measure how we’re doing by looking at population mortality rates to see if the number of new cases or the number of people dying changes through intervention programs.
Health-related skills and abilities are particularly important in Saskatchewan which has twice the national average of HIV cases, the highest in Canada. Canada also has the third highest youth suicide rate in the industrialized world and second highest rate of opioid use in the world[i]. An example of this is teaching first year nursing students about social determinants of health through exercises such as body-mapping, described by USask Assistant Professor Geoffrey Maina as “an artistic method of narrating experiences… where individuals can discuss personal, emotional, cultural, political and socio-economics dimensions of their lives” to “help students confront their own beliefs and values, and engage with PLHIV [people living with HIV] to gain new experiences.”[ii].
- apply the concepts of health, hygiene and well-being.
- reflect on the importance of gender in health and well-being.
- describe the socio-political and economic dimensions of health and well-being as well as strategies to promote good health.
- develop positive health and well-being practices, strategies, or policies, including reproductive and sexual health.
- communicate issues of health, including sexual and reproductive health, and preventative strategies.
- apply health promoting behaviours in their daily routines.
- identify avenues of support when others or themselves need help.
Media – How are different health issues reported? How are local stories covered versus international?
Health and biotechnology – What trends are emerging in technological innovation and health?
Environment – How is our health connected to the health of our environment?
Poverty, wealth, and power – How are poverty and health linked? What are strategies to intervene?
Gender politics – How is health related to gender inequality?
Social justice and human rights – What do the experiences of people who are discriminated against within the health care system say about the system in general?
Indigenous Peoples – What are some opportunities for holistic healing in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities?
Peace and conflict – How do you rebuild a healthcare system in a post-conflict environment?
Oppression and genocide – How are oppression and discrimination related to
health and well-being?
Start a fundraising campaign. Support good health in your community or a community overseas. Show your students their actions matter and can make a difference around the world!
Support local and international organizations working to promote good health and well-being around the world. You can start locally with an organization like Chep Good Food Box, or raise funds for international NGOs working to improve health around the world. A good starting point is SCIC’s list of member organizations with links to their websites.
Get informed. Infectious diseases can spread quickly, but misinformation can spread even faster. When reports of outbreaks happen, help students check sources and get savvy on what the facts are and how to protect themselves and others.
[i] The power to make a difference at https://makingthedifference.ca/ is a communications campaign effort by registered nurses on the frontline of the most significant health and social challenges impacting the people of Saskatchewan today.
[ii] Geoffrey Maina, Lynn Sutankayo, Raymond Chorney, Vera Caine. Living with and teaching about HIV: Engaging nursing students through body mapping. Nurse Education Today, Volume 34, Issue 4, 2014, Pages 643-647, ISSN 0260-6917, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2013.05.004. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260691713001676