Networking system to support A-bomb survivors in Brazil is launched

by Masaki Kadowaki, Staff Writer (from Sao Paulo)

Chairman Hiroo Dohi of HICARE (Hiroshima International Council for Health Care of the Radiation-Exposed), an organization composed of major medical institutions in Hiroshima Prefecture and supported financially by both the prefecture and the city of Hiroshima, has traveled to Sao Paulo to launch a new networking system for Brazilian physicians. Commemorating the centennial anniversary of immigrants from Japan to Brazil, the networking system, called the “Association of Former Trainees” and involving Brazilian doctors who have received training in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, was established on June 19.

The first meeting, held at Santa Cruz Hospital, brought together 13 former trainees, including physicians and surgeons, who have studied the physical effects of radiation exposure and associated treatment techniques in Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 1991, the year HICARE was founded.

Chairman Dohi greeted the participants by saying “More collaboration among former trainees is essential for the treatment of aging A-bomb survivors in Brazil. Let’s work more closely together to enhance our treatment methods.” The participants agreed on several matters, including forming a secretariat for the network at Santa Cruz Hospital, compiling a directory of telephone numbers and email addresses, and holding meetings at least once a year.

According to Hiroshima Prefecture, where the HICARE secretariat is located, the organization has, to date, invited 30 trainees from Brazil who are now playing active roles in that nation as hospital directors, university professors, and other medical specialists. It is believed, however, that opportunities for collaboration between these experts are currently limited and thus the knowledge they have gained, both old and new, has not been fully exploited within the Brazilian health care system.

“By sharing information, we hope to improve medical treatment for A-bomb survivors in Brazil,” said a third-generation Japanese-Brazilian physician, Deborah Oka, 41, who received HICARE training in Hiroshima in 2005.

(Originally published on June 21, 2008)

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HICARE builds a networking system to support A-bomb survivors in Brazil (June 18, 2008)
Hiroshima Memo: The International Contribution of Radiation Medicine (March 25, 2008)
HICARE, providing support for victims of radiation exposure for 17 years (March 20, 2008)