April 27 2016
The program provides treatment to children affected by the April 1989 Chernobyl disaster from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus
Children of those affected by thermonuclear radiation from Chernobyl receive medical treatment in Cuba. Photo:Otmaro Rodríguez
Cuba currently provides medical treatment to 800 children from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, all affected by the April 1989, Chernobyl nuclear disaster, considered to be the worst in history.
One of the first nations to respond to the tragedy
The island was one of the first nations to respond to the tragedy and offer help in the form of rehabilitation treatment to those affected, the majority children. Cuban doctor Julio Medina, coordinator of the program, reported that to date the Cuban government has provided treatment to some 24,000 children.
According to Telesur, treatments last around 45 days for the majority of patients, however some stay up to a year at the Tarará health resort – a facility which was modified into a semi-hospital for victims of the nuclear accident and is located 20 kilometers east of Havana.
The suffering of the victims
Many children from the Chernobyl disaster suffer from thyroid cancer, leukemia, muscular atrophy, physiological and neurological disorders and alopecia.
On April 26, the United Nations General Assembly held a special session in honor of the anniversary of the disaster which occurred in the then Soviet Union, now Ukrainian territory, during which the international community recalled the suffering of the victims and courage of those who responded to the emergency.
In addition to the Fukushima crisis in Japan, the Chernobyl accident, which occurred at the Vladímir Ilich Lenin nuclear power plant, is rated as the worst nuclear disaster on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, according to Prensa Latina