Chernobil, Programa humanitario cubano

6 mayo 2010

A new dose of hope

Filed under: artículos,chernobil ingles — Dra. Yamila Ojeda Dennis @ 9:32

GRANMA DAILY, Friday 26 March 2010

Ukrainian Lyuda Bilich traveled to Cuba with the second flight of children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Today, already healed, happy and thankful for all Cuba has done for her and for thousands of other children victims of the nuclear nightmare, she shares with Granma some of her views on this humane medical care program.

Why Cuba?

I was twelve when I came to Cuba for the first time. Due to the radiation caused by the Chernobyl accident, I was suffering from serious thyroid disorders. Then in Ukraine they told us about the Cuban program, which offered the possibility of being healed. I was brought here for an initial stay of one month and a half.

LYUDA BILICH AND HER SONS KOLYA AND VALIK, HAPPY TO RECEIVE A NEW DOSE OF HOPE

And what are your memories from those days?

Almost twenty years have passed since I first came here together with other children on the second flight, in December 1990. And yet, I still remember everything: the Cuban children, the doctors, the facilities. I remember a nurse, Kenia, her humaneness.

What impressed you the most?

The doctors always treated us very affectionately, with a smile on their faces. With them I felt as if I were with my family. That cannot be forgotten.
In Ukraine I had difficulty growing, and then I started to have problems with my thyroid gland. I did not see well and even lost my eyebrows.
In Cuba they cured me completely.
 
Then you grew up, you married and had three children…?

When I left Cuba I was cured. I felt good and thank God I have not had any serious problems. My children were born healthy, and they have grown.

TARARÁ IS A CITY FOR ALL, AS THESE LITTLE UKRAINIANS SEEM TO CORROBORATE, RADIATING HAPPINESS AS THEY PLAY IN BACKYARDS AND GARDENS.
 
With your new, healthy family, did you forget what happened in Chernobyl?

I have never forgotten Chernobyl. Chernobyl is always with us. Where I live there are still children who lose their hair after they are born. I have always been very thankful to Cuba, because after I came here and was treated I even stopped taking thyroid hormones, so well did I feel. Now, in this checkup, they have studied me again. In Cuba I will pick up another dose of health. I am getting a new dose of hope, with hugs and smiles like the ones I received twenty years ago.
I have told my children about Cuba, that I think the best doctors are here, and that I trust those doctors.

How would you define the program?

Cuba gives people hope, the hope that many Ukrainians had lost. It is like the last chance, because all mothers want health for our children, and we are happy that here they recover their health and feel ever better. Tarará is a city for all.

I asked Lyuda’s sons Kolya, 11, and Valik, 8, present during the interview, what they have liked best during this first visit to Cuba. The elder is quick to state his preference for computer lessons, and the younger, Valik, says, “Of course, Tarará beach”.

With a big heart

“We continue to define this task as a program of hope. Those of us who share our daily life with the Ukrainian patients, can feel that their mothers and other relatives have put all of their hopes on us.
 
And that means that they put their hopes on the Cuban people and value very highly every inch of improvement in a child’s health, and are thankful for the devotion of doctors and workers and their commitment to bringing health and happiness to all patients.

DOCTOR JULIO MEDINA, DIRECTOR, AND DOCTOR XENIA LAURENTI DILMÉS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

“There are even cases of infantile cerebral palsy (ICP), who we know will not have a definitive cure, but our doctors and personnel have a big heart, and do all they can so that those little ones have at least some improvement, and when that is the case we can see their parents’ joy. We habilitate patients’ functions and provide them with a better life. Children who were isolated in a room in their homes now have a social life, and they receive education. Teachers visit them in their houses. And they also interact with other children, they play together, or recite a poem. That is rehabilitation: reaching a little further. That is hope.”

Permanent presence of Fidel’s idea

Filed under: artículos,chernobil ingles — Dra. Yamila Ojeda Dennis @ 9:19

GRANMA DAILY, Elson Concepción Pérez, 26 March 2010, elson.cp@granma.cip.cu.

It was 29 March 1990. At José Martí international airport in Havana everything was ready to welcome the first group of children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, who were about to arrive to receive medical assistance.

When the plane turned off its engines and the exit door opened, all looked in amazement and anticipation. There was Fidel, who had come to welcome the children and assure them that in Cuba they would always find the solidarity of our revolutionary people and government.

FIDEL WELCOMED THE 139 CHERNOBYL CHILDREN ARRIVING IN CUBA ON THE FIRST FLIGHT, TWENTY YEARS AGO.
 
The arrival of the first 139 children, who suffered from a variety of oncohematological conditions, was the start of one of the most humane endeavors recorded by history.
 
Today, this idea of Fidel’s and his permanent presence, reaffirmation of his humaneness, are recognized worldwide.
 
Twenty years later, 24 471 patients, of whom 20 419 are children, have received medical care in Cuba, where they have had free access to the most advanced achievements of medical science, and to the humaneness of men and women, doctors, psychologists, nurses, assistants, teachers and sports trainers.

Cuba was the only country to organize a mass, free of charge integral health program for the care of those affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
The children live in the former school city of Tarará, some 20 kilometers east of the capital, in a neighborhood near the beach, where they receive medical care, attend a school with Ukrainian teachers and participate in sports and cultural activities.
 
A team of Cuban doctors are posted in Ukraine, selecting the cases that will travel to the island.

Six bone marrow transplants, two kidney transplants, 16 cardiovascular operations and more than 600 neurological and orthopedic operations have been performed on affected patients in Cuban hospitals.

More than 300 of the patients traveling to Cuba had hematological conditions, and among them 124 suffered from leukemia.
 
Several health institutions have been involved in the successful development of the program. Among them are pediatric hospitals William Soler, Juan M. Márquez, Centro Habana and Pedro Borrás, as well as Hermanos Ameijeiras Clinical Surgical Hospital, Frank País Orthopedic Complex, the Institute of Hematology, and the Pediatric Cardiological Center, where 14 heart operations were performed on children with complex congenital malformations. Also the Center for Radiation Protection and Hygiene.

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Autor: Dra. Yamila Ojeda Dennis | Contáctenos
Programa cubano de atención médica integral a niños relacionados con el accidente de Chernobil