One area where Green Cross International is active is Zhytomyr Oblast, a region in Ukraine that is one of the most affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe. There exists a high common sickness rate and a large number of endocrine pathologies. Experts at the World Health Organization have proven that there is a significance to continuous health monitoring, and they also predict that there will be an increased morbidity rate, including cancer cases, for many a decade after Chernobyl.
Health services in the Zhytomyr region have been affected by an economic crisis in Ukraine. Some of these affects include a shortage of skilled medical professionals and special diagnostic equipment. As a result, children and teenagers are health impaired throughout the region. Also due to the economic crisis, a majority of the people in Zhytomyr, especially those living in the countryside, is not resorting to medical assistance when they require it. The only chance of early disease detection and consultation in emergency cases is through the “Health for the Future” project.
The staff of the Zhytomyr Oblast Children’s Diabetes Center Green Cross (ZOCDC) was met with critically important medical and social issues that lie outside the scope of the diabetes project they were working on, but were still in need of immediate solutions. One of these issues was a rise in the number of patients with chronic disease and the disabled, which leads to decreased child health. The “Health for the Future” project is looking to address such an issue.
Once implemented, this project will study all aspects of chronic pathologies among the children of the Zhytomyr region, particularly those that live in areas affected by Chernobyl. “Health for the Future” is also looking to determine the correlation between spread, structural peculiarities, effects of chronic diseases and adverse environmental conditions. Finally, the project looks to develop effective preventive measures, treatment and follow-up methods, which are then implemented and monitored.
By gathering and processing the information gathered through “Health for the Future,” it is possible to make scientifically established recommendations for preventive and effective treatment of chronic diseases among children. These recommendations will then be open to those in the medical profession and the region’s inhabitants.
Besides assisting children with chronic diseases, “Health for the Future” is holding seminars and meetings in Ukraine to discuss issues of treating diabetes and other endocrine diseases connected with Chernobyl, participating in programs to exchange information with young scientists and researchers of the endocrine system, providing online information systematic teaching of mothers with children such knowledge of first aid and the basics of healthy living and nutrition, and developing and distributing Green Cross Ukraine brochures for children and their families suffering from chronic diseases.