Cuba has treated 18,153 child victims of radiation fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, Ukrainian Health Minister Nykola Polischuk said Tuesday.
For 15 years, children from Chernobyl have traveled to Cuba to be treated free of charge by Cuban doctors at the beach resort of Tarara, on the eastern outskirts of Havana.
The pale, sometimes bald, strikingly beautiful children can often be seen playing joyfully on the beach and splashing in the warm Caribbean.
They have been treated for cancers, kidney and thyroid ailments, digestive and nervous disorders, and the loss of hair and skin pigmentation.
“At a difficult moment for the people of Ukraine, Cuba was one of the first to extend a helping hand with health care for the children,” Polischuk said at a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the Cuban program.