Hiroshima citizens aid radiation exposed people in Kazakhstan

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Japanese non-profit organisation Hiroshima Semipalatinsk Project will send their 8th medical aid visiting team to Semey, Kazakhstan, known as Semipalatinsk under the USSR reign, reported a regional newspaper, Chugoku Shimbun. The team will consist of seven medical staffs, doctors and nurses, including Professor Masaharu Hoshi of the Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine at Hiroshima University. They will visit Semey from 19 September till 26 to examine radioactive exposed people and give medical instruments to local hospitals.

Hiroshima Semipalatinsk Project (HSP) was founded in 1999 by Hiroshima citizens, many of whom or their relatives suffered radiation exposure due to the atomic bomb dropped by the US army in 1945. When in 1994 Hiroshima hosted the Asia Games, a Hiroshima citizen met a Kazakh and eventually became aware of another group of "Hibakusha". In Semey approximately 470 atomic bomb experiments were held between 1949 and 1989 by the USSR government. Residents have been severely affected by radiation. Following the Hiroshima Semipalatinsk Project it is reported that 1.2 million people are affected by the fallouts and over 300,000 people have suffered of radiation exposure in that area, mainly in the city of Semey with a population of 350,000.

Since its foundation in 1999, HSP continues to aid Kazakhs and endeavours to provide the public with information about suffering in the area. The organisation gives Kazakhs not only medical aid but also social aid through student exchange programs for highschool students.