HICARE invites two trainees from Latvia

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

A doctor and a chemist from Latvia, invited to Japan by the Hiroshima International Council for Health Care of the Radiation-exposed (HICARE), an organization formed by Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, and other entities, began a training period in the city of Hiroshima on October 1.

The two are Jolanta Cirule, 37, a doctor at a university hospital in Riga, the capital of Latvia, and Inese Martinsone, 35, a university research assistant. Latvia was once a part of the former Soviet Union and nearly 6,000 Latvians were mobilized as clean-up workers at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986. They were exposed to radiation there and many still reportedly suffer from the aftereffects.

On the first day of their training, the visitors met Hiroo Dohy, president of both the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital & Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital and HICARE. Dr. Dohy encouraged them to learn a great deal while in Hiroshima. Jolanta Cirule said she is eager to take advantage of the training in Hiroshima, which has accumulated data and materials on the damaging consequences of radiation over the past 65 years, in undertaking treatment and research back in Latvia. The two will remain in Hiroshima until December 2, and receive training mainly at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF).

(Originally published on October 2, 2010)

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