Hiroshima Day: Thousands of Survivors Still Receive Treatment
6 August 2015 at 11:12 am
Seventy years on from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thousands of people are still receiving treatment for cancer and other serious health problems, new figures reveal.
Last year alone, Red Cross hospitals in Japan say they treated almost 11,000 atomic bomb survivors.
To mark Hiroshima Day, the global aid organisation, including the Australian arm, is calling for a complete elimination of nuclear weapons under international law.
"What better reason can there be for Governments around the world to act to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all?” CEO of the Australian Red Cross, Robert Tickner, said.
“This is a global humanitarian imperative and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is committed to seeing an end to nuclear weapons.
“We must remember the horrors of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the price innocent civilians paid in unspeakable suffering that cannot be limited by time. There is no safe way to mount a humanitarian response to a nuclear strike.”
More than 110 countries are already signatories to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in light of the devastation caused to victims, and at the Non-Proliferation Treaty in May 156 nations called for their total elimination. Australia has pledged to neither.
“It is time to get on the right side of history. There are more than 16,000 nuclear weapons around the globe. The world’s already banned landmines, biological and chemical weapons,” Tickner said.
“It’s time to rid the globe of the most destructive weapons of all and make sure there’s never another humanitarian tragedy like Hiroshima.”
Japanese Red Cross has run hospitals for atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima since 1956 and in Nagasaki since 1969.
The hospitals have together handled more than 2.5 million outpatient visits by atomic bomb survivors and more than 2.6 million admissions of survivors as inpatients.
The data collected from Red Cross hospitals show that 63 per cent of all atomic bomb survivor deaths were caused by cancer, with the most deadly being lung cancer.