HICARE builds a networking system to support A-bomb survivors in Brazil

by Masaki Kadowaki, Staff Writer

HICARE (Hiroshima International Council for Health Care of the Radiation-Exposed, chaired by Hiroo Dohi), an organization composed of major medical institutions in Hiroshima Prefecture and supported financially by both the prefecture and the city of Hiroshima, resolved on June 5, 2008 to build a networking system that will enable Brazilian doctors practicing in Brazil, after receiving training in Hiroshima, to share and exchange information. The goal is improve the health care of A-bomb survivors in Brazil who are too old to travel to Japan for treatment. HICARE will hold its first meeting in Sao Paulo on June 19 to embark on establishing this new networking system.

Since April 1991, HICARE has invited a total of 29 trainees to Hiroshima from four Brazilian organizations, including Santa Cruz Hospital and Nip-Brasileiro Hospital in Sao Paulo, to educate them on the physical effects of radiation exposure and treatment techniques at Hiroshima University Hospital, RERF (Radiation Effects Research Foundation), and other institutions. According to the HICARE secretariat, those who were trained in Hiroshima are now playing active roles as hospital directors, university professors, high-ranking government officials, and specialists in other fields.

It is believed, however, that opportunities for collaboration between these experts are currently few and thus the knowledge they have gained over the past 17 years, both old and new, has not been fully implemented in health care and in other areas. Toward this end, HICARE has been working since April on preparations for a networking system that can improve treatment for A-bomb survivors in Brazil (numbered at around 160 as of March 2007).

At the first meeting in Sao Paulo, HICARE will propose the creation of a directory with phone numbers and e-mail addresses of those who have received training in Hiroshima. HICARE is said to have already called for former trainees at NASHIM (Nagaski Association for Hibakusha’ Medical Care) to join the network.

“Former trainees who are treating A-bomb survivors are assets,” Chairman Dohi remarked. “We would like to capitalize on these assets by improving the level of networking among them.”

(Originally published on June 6, 2008)

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Hiroshima Memo: The International Contribution of Radiation Medicine (March 25, 2008)
HICARE, providing support for victims of radiation (March 20, 2008)