In the midst of a nuclear disaster in Japan, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the catastrophic nuclear explosion at Chernobyl that affected up to 8 million people.
Ukraine, Russia and Belarus continue to live with the invisible, poisonous legacy that has demonstrated the dangers of nuclear power. The International Federation of Red Cross Societies, along with the Red Cross societies of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, started CHARP, the Chernobyl Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation programme, in 1990.
The basis of the programme is mass thyroid gland screening in the most rural and inaccessible areas in three regions of Ukraine, three in Belarus and one Russian region. Each year seven mobile laboratories screen some 100,000 patients using ultrasound machines or fine needle biopsy.
This film shows the work done in one day in one mobile laboratory. If a new donor is not found soon, the CHARP programme may have to be wound down, which would be a tragedy within a tragedy.
You can see the film on the Red Cross channel.