Health and education for the weakest.
The disaster at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons and the use of the defoliant 'Agent Orange' in Vietnam have led to the contamination of large areas. Millions of people are still affected today. For example, around Chernobyl the number of cases of thyroid cancer among people who were less than 18 years of age at the time of the reactor disaster has increased by more than 50 times.
With its Social and Medical Care Programme, Green Cross supports the most seriously affected people by means of medical and psychological help, in particular children, young people and their mothers. These measures contribute to improving living conditions in the contaminated areas. In Vietnam, for example, physically handicapped children and young people affected by Agent Orange are provided with orthopaedic aids.
In Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine, the local Green Cross organisations regularly organise therapy camps for children and young people. Living in fresh and clean air, unpolluted food and comprehensive care for at least four weeks strengthen the immune system and psyche. Before and after the camps, mobile teams of physicians take care of the children at their place of residence.
The Social Medicine programme is being led by Maria Vitagliano, Green Cross Switzerland, and being developed and realised in cooperation with our partners on location. The Social Medicine programme is supported by the Swiss government (Administration of Development and Cooperation DEZA), the Finnish and Dutch governments as well as by donations.