Human Dimension of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
Reactor No 4 at Chernobyl is the scene of the worst nuclear accident in history. The radioactive particles from the explosion in 1986 still affect the lives of people and remain, with the completion of the sarcophagus on 29 November, as salient as ever. Officially, about 50 people were killed as a direct result of the accident. Medical estimates suggest up to 4,000 people will die prematurely due to radiation exposure, and thousands more still suffer health effects, primarily in today’s Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
This project falls within ITF’s wider scope of activities, with which we try to facilitate safe, long-term development and build resilience of affected communities exposed to in discriminatory threats. The legacy of the Chernobyl explosion is sadly one of illness and nuclear contamination-related consequences. Regrettably, the legacy most often impacts the most exposed and vulnerable members of society – children, with various diseases as thyroid cancer, respiratory diseases, musculoskeletal, and coetaneous diseases.
ITF, with financial support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and in close cooperation with the Slovenian Red Cross, the Executive committee for education in the region of Mogilev in Belarus, and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Minsk, is providing adequate medical rehabilitation for Belarusian children from radioactively contaminated regions.
The rehabilitation programme was carried out at the Slovenian Red Cross Health and Youth Resort in Debeli Rtič at the Slovenian seaside. 59 children aged 7 – 14 spent 10 days in the Resort undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation programme, which included various therapies and recreational activities, focusing on both individual and group approaches, carefully developed by experts and therapists in the fields of hydrotherapy, respiratory physiotherapy and endurance therapy. The therapies help children revitalize and regain their health. Not only therapies, but leisure activities like art, science and music workshops, sport activities, and animated events like the boat trip to Koper are all important elements of coherent rehabilitation. All our efforts combined resulted in a considerable improvement of health and well-being, and allowed the children to relax in a safe and clean environment.
We look forward to the continuation of the project as planned in 2017 and 2018 and build upon the very positive feedback thus far, enabling the rehabilitation for additional 60 children from Belarus in Slovenia.