Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) joins the international day of protest against the use of nuclear power reactors and nuclear power. The protest also commemorates the 25th anniversary of the tragic Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It is, likewise, a protest against concealing the effects and extent of the ongoing nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
According to Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD’S secretary general, the group joins the call for the banning of nuclear power plants all over the world. Rivera said what happened to Chernobyl years ago and the ongoing multiple meltdown of Fukushima tells us that man-made nuclear energy is never at all safe and continues to pose a danger to the environment and to the health of the peoples of the world.
“We also call on the peoples of the world to pressure the Japanese and other governments to dismantle their nuclear facilities and to consider, instead, other safer energy sources. The threat posed by the meltdown of Fukushima nuclear reactors is not just on the Japanese people but also a threat to the rest of the world if the nuclear radiation leaks continue to spread further.“ As already reported, weeks ago, the level of nuclear disaster has risen to the highest, which is level 7 of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).
Likewise, HEAD together with other health professionals, health workers and health science students urges the Japanese government to immediately secure the safety of its citizens, especially the women, children and the elderly. The Japanese government must also address this disaster with transparency of the real situation and stop playing down the extent of the nuclear material that spread out in the atmosphere, sea waters and land which poses danger to the health of the people especially the children.
Studies from other countries show that this fall out must have reached the Philippines at this time yet the Aquino administration has ineptly address the danger that this poses to our people. It chooses to downplay the situation instead of making the people ready for the looming disaster.
“In the case of nuclear fallout, the economically disadvantaged countries like the Philippines will greatly suffer and given our dire economic situation majority of poverty stricken Filipinos will become more vulnerable more than ever” Rivera said.
Furthermore, the group said that the government has not made any concrete plans and countermeasures except for its inept monitoring, limited advisories and plans of bulk buying large amount of iodine to counter the possible effects of radioactive poisoning. The group assails the lack of contingency plans of having other sources of water and food in case our water system becomes contaminated.
Due to the nuclear radiation, death can ensue and there will be an increase in diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera, meningitis and different forms of cancer, cataracts, perinatal deaths and severe skin diseases.
With a measly budget for health, the more the government will not be able to respond to the health needs arising from the nuclear fallout.
“Finally, we enjoin the Filipino citizenry to get involved in protesting the use of nuclear reactors” Rivera ended.