Global Public Health



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Disorders of Environmental Origin | Environmental Public Health | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Ukraine is a middle- to low- income country run by a semi-presidential republic, after the banning of the Communist party in the early 1990's. While the nation faces various internal and external challenges, including unemployment rates and war with Russia, Ukraine also continues to face a major public health issue that originated in the 1980's. In 1986, an explosion was triggered at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The explosion released radioactive iodine into the ground, water, and air, and it was discovered soon after that this had a long-lasting effect on health. It has been observed that rates of papillary thyroid cancer have exhibited a steep increase since the time of the accident. Risk factors include age at the time of the iodine release, proximity to the explosion site, and gender. Identification of thyroid cancer cases is through the national cancer registry and new cases can be identified with physical and chemical exams. Due to the size of the population impacted by the event, there are not a significant number of successful public health interventions, instead, the cases have been primarily treated individually. In addition to the physical presence, or lack, or thyroid cancer, psychological and social concerns are of growing interest.