Green Cross Family Clubs continuing to help families in Chernobyl region

Green Cross Switzerland Mother and Child projects in Belarus continue to provide families focused medical attention to improve the heath of mothers and children. The family Misuno is just one example of many who was helped by the Green Cross Famiy Club.

The family Misuno lives in impoverished conditions in the village of Schkurati, Belarus, in a region strongly affected by radioactivity due to the Chernobyl disaster. In the Family Club, part of the Social and Medical Care programme, Swetlana Misuno has learnt how to considerably reduce the radioactive content of foodstuffs through proper preparation methods.
When Swetlana Misuno received the diagnosis that her youngest child, only a year-old at the time, suffered from a serious intestinal illness it was a tragedy for the entire family. And her two-year-older son Vitali also complained more and more often about headaches.
“Dimitri still suffers from an intestinal illness, and this causes a lot of problems in feeding him” says Svetlana Misuno. And she pays great attention to only feeding him easily digestible foods. Dimitri’s health has somewhat improved – and doctors are against an operation, as they hope the problems will further diminish as he gets older. Vitali is today four years old, in better health as compared to some time ago, and delighted that he is now able to attend kindergarten more often.
On meeting at the Family Club last December, Dr. Vladimir Soloview, head physician of the Komarin hospital, demonstrated the function and use of a dosimeter to measure radioactivity levels. In addition, Green Cross information brochures were handed out.
In the Green Cross Family Club, mothers learn how to handle a radioactivity-measuring device Dr. Soloview explained: “The brochure was compiled by professors and experts who have been concerned about the problems of radiation since years. Those who are unsure about the radioactivity levels of their foodstuffs can now control these themselves.”
The dosimeter is available to families year round. Schanna Chubsa, head of the Family Club in Bragin, is pleased: “We’ve been working together with Green Cross since eight years, and I view positive changes in the people. Not only concerning their personal health, but also their willingness to help one another. The Green Cross brochures contain valuable instructions that are helpful to all mothers.
We feel the experts who provide us guidance are people with a genuine interest in helping us and capable of doing so. This is vital, as we live in a part of the earth badly soiled with radioactivity – and families already have more than enough to worry about – such as how they can adequately dress and feed their children, prepare their homes for freezing cold winters, and cut and bring in the grass for the cows. But now we are united in our efforts thanks to Green Cross.”

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