Study on long term psychological effects of Chernobyl

Today, officially, marks the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown.

Doctors and scientists have spent nearly all of that time measuring and studying how toxic nuclear contaminants have affected people throughout Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the Russian Federation. These findings, in conjunction with information gathered from public discussions and published scientific literature, have recently been published in a study conducted by Green Cross Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan M. Samet, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California (USA) in collaboration with local partners.

“Depression, anxiety and suicide are critical elements identified in populations living in contaminated areas or removed,” said Maria Vitagliano, Director of Green Cross International’s Social and Medical (SOCMED) programme. “We are putting in place methods for early detection of suicidal tendencies, using family clubs and therapeutic camps, as well as strategic partnerships with local governments to support cases of depression.”

Mrs Vitagliano, in Ukraine for the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, said the research results on the long-term mental health consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear have helped launch therapeutic measures to improve living conditions of the affected population.
She added most studies found that there was also an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, blood problems and child birth.
The study revealed the high extent to which people’s mental health was affected by the disaster especially in terms of depression, anxiety, and suicide. However, despite the hardship those affected have endured, several programs have been established to provide aid and relief to people of all ages.

The study culminates the findings of several focus groups and addresses mental, reproductive, respiratory, and cardiovascular health, as well as analyzing the sources and projected damages costs.

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