Modern socio-demographic situation in the Zhytomyr region remains complex and ambiguous. Demographic indicators are deteriorated in the areas affected by radioactive contamination: the birth rate decreases and mortality increases, the working-age population migrates from those contaminated areas in less polluted areas, other cities and countries.
Hundreds of thousands of families and children reside, grow up and develop in conditions of prolonged exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation and other unfavorable factors after Chernobyl period. It is noticed that all the children are have higher level of pathological prevalence. Children with diffuse toxic goiter are observed significantly higher prevalence and intensity of dental caries and its complications. There is a greater percentage of destruction of periodontal tissues, which indicates the need for further detailed study of the dental status in thyroid comorbidity to establish causal relationships. In the context of the planned rehabilitation within the Zhytomyr region figures look heterogeneously. Low level of dental health is indicated in children living in Olevsk, Emilchinsky, Novograd-Volynskiy, Korosten and Ovruch areas. There is a need in the treatment of teeth at the base of "Caries Prevention" center at the Zhytomyr Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital. Almost one in eight people living in the contaminated area is in a state of depression, anxiety, emotional instability, stress, conflicts and crises. People are in downbeat mood about their future. Topical issue is the system of social security and assistance to the most "vulnerable" sectors of the population (large families, low income and asocial families).
As part of the medical unit under the International social and medical care program SOCMED (GCCH) with the participation of the medical team of doctors from the Zhytomyr Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital, namely endocrinology, immunology, neurology, ENT and dentist the planned field visit was held to Luginsky district, Zhytomyr region. Green Cross representatives invited the family of Galina Tereshchuk to undergo the medical checkup, which is already member of the "Social cooperatives" project. The family lives in the village of Kremne relating to third Chernobyl zone (zone of unconditional (mandatory) and guaranteed voluntary resettlement). The mother Galina and her husband Boris are raising two sons Alexander and Dmitry. All family members have the status of victims after the Chernobyl accident and everyone has some health problems.
The biggest concern for parents is the health of their children, especially the younger Sasha. The boy is diagnosed with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, cholecystitis), rheumatism and anemia. During the check-out dentist Lyudmila Kravchenko discovered anomaly of the upper jaw and chronic caries lesions. On doctor's advice, he was sent to an orthodontist for consultation and it is recommended to take full mouth debridement. With the absence of pediatric dentist in their village and lack of money for treatment, the family got an offer to have free oral cavity debridement on the basis of Zhytomyr Regional Clinical Hospital. Unfortunately, the family cannot afford themselves to go to the Zhytomyr hospital and carry out the necessary treatment. However, children need constant examination by doctors and therefore Green Cross is ready to ensure that children receive the necessary medical advice and provide assistance to positively affect the overall health of children.
Thanks to the "Caries Prevention" project and financial support from GCCH under the International SOCMED program in Ukraine, children can receive the necessary help and support. Medical team of doctors carries out planned visits to villages in the Chernobyl-affected areas to conduct surveys of sick children. The doctors provided the necessary advice and guidance on the appropriate treatment and disease prevention, in particular, dental diseases. Healthy children means not only beautiful smile. Fore and foremost it is happy families.
"Meeting with the Green Cross, support and provision of necessary medical assistance brought hope to our family and gave confidence in the future. I cordially thank Green Cross and all caring people for it" – says Galina mother of Sasha.
Tereshchuk family is very grateful to medical team for the professional examination, counseling and medical advice. They thank Green Cross for help due to which Sasha will have a chance to improve his health and take part in the ecology camp held by Green Cross in Ukraine since 1999 with GCCH support for children who permanently reside in the 3rd and 4th Chernobyl areas.
GCU Project Coordinator