The Relevance of the International SOCMED Program in Ukraine

The scale of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster is significant for the environment, human health and development of society. As a result of the release of radionuclides into the environment, an unfavorable ecological situation has arisen on the territory of Ukraine, resulting in both external exposure of a multimillion population of people and long-term entry into the body of radioactive isotopes, which forms internal irradiation.

As a result of the Chernobyl disaster, about 5 million people were affected. Near 5,000 settlements of Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation are located in the contaminated territories. In Ukraine the number of victims of the accident is 1.7 million people, including more than 300,000 children affected.

Overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster is not a temporary, but purposeful activity to be executed in a long prospect. To reduce the level of radiation at the fourth unit, a new sarcophagus was built on November 29, 2016. The facility will serve for 100 years and allow disassembling the reactor, and then «burying" its parts. In recent years, the radiation status of territories exposed to radioactive contamination has improved. This was facilitated by natural processes and measures taken to prevent the removal of radionuclides from the exclusion zone, to overcome the consequences of the accident in agricultural and forestry production, and to carry out decontamination works. The measures introduced led to a reduction in the levels of exposure to people living in these territories. However, the number of people whose disabilities and health problems are connected with the Chernobyl disaster is more than 106 thousand. Of these, more than 65,000 are liquidators of the consequences of the accident.

With the aim of helping citizens affected by the Chernobyl disaster, the International Social and Medical Care Program (SOCMED) has been operating in Ukraine for over 18 years now. The successful operation of the program is possible thanks to the coordination and financial support of the Swiss Green Cross (GCCH) under the leadership of the international Socmed Program Director Maria Vitagliano.

Since years the top priority of the program remains the same, i.e. solution of the urgent social problems of citizens affected by the Chernobyl disaster, the reduction of social tension among the affected population, the further legal and information support, medical and social aid, health promotion and improvement of children's health.

In 2018, the Green Cross Ukraine team continues its activities under the International SOCMED Program. The urgency of implementing the program in Ukraine is determined by the constant need of the population for social and medical assistance, which is subject to negative environmental effects due to the Chernobyl accident and other unfavorable factors. Together with partners, social, medical and educational assistance is provided to the population, which is experiencing the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and lives in the 3rd and 4th Chernobyl zones.

Preservation of public health is the most important task in overcoming the long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. As part of the SOCMED program, since 1999, the project "Health for the Future" is being implemented, which is aimed at comprehensive health care and social and psychological rehabilitation. Thanks to cooperation with the doctors of the Zhytomyr Regional Pediatric Clinical Hospital, medical examinations of the Chernobyl disaster families are conducted. In 2017, during the field trips and medical check-ups to the northern regions of the Zhytomyr region, 3,927 children were examined. The qualitative improvement of children’s health and the increase in the effectiveness of medical care to persons exposed to radiation exposure are priority tasks for the coming years.

GCU coordinators pursue to work at family clubs in the regions. The goal of the Green Cross Family Clubs is to improve the health of mothers and their children, provide counseling and knowledge about how they can improve living conditions. The results of the conducted survey in Family Clubs in Bila Tserkva, Zhytomyr, Slavutich, Chernigov and Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky confirmed that it is necessary to continue the club activities and develop more constructive targeted assistance.

Since the beginning of the year, Green Cross Ukraine has been strengthening cooperation, establishing new partnerships, searching for potential sponsors and donors for effective implementation of existing Green Cross projects and expanding the activities of the SOCMED program in Ukraine.

Green Cross Ukraine

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Thank you for your interest and concern for our organization.

We are open for constructive dialogue and cooperation, and we hope for your support.

The National Ecological charitable organization“GREEN CROSS UKRAINE”

Joint stock company “THE STATE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF UKRAINE”

Kyiv, Ukraine

EDRPOU – 26383599

MFO - 322313

Bank account - 26002010047025

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