FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

276Figure 2: Fukushima Prefecture Residents’ Health ManagementFukushima Health Management Survey (administered to all prefecture residents)Follow-upConsultation and supportTreatmentAssessing patient/resident health conditionsAssessing radiation dose rates (base data for each individual in the prefecture)Mental health and lifestyle surveys(questionnaires administered to residents within the evacuation zone and elsewhere)Detailed SurveysBasic SurveyThyroid examination(Administered in succession to all prefecture residents 18 years or younger)Target subjects: All prefecture residents born between April 2, 1992 and April 1, 2011 (including evacuees now living outside the prefecture)Content: Ultrasound thyroid examinations*Within three years, assess the condition of all subjects and continue regular examinations thereafterTarget subjects: All those living within the prefecture as of March 11, 2011Method: Voluntary response questionnairesContent: Record of activity from March 11(estimated levels of external radiation dose rate)Building a databaseDatabaseHealth Management File (tentative name)- For individual tracking of health management survey and examination results (available for each resident)- For dispersing educational information on radiationHealth checkups(including data from previously administered examinations)Target subjects: All prefecture residentsContent: General health testsAdministration of health examinations to prefecture residents who do not fall within the applicable range of current examinations- Full body Geiger counter- Individual radiation dose rateRegular administration of health examinations and cancer screenings for residents at their workplace and examinations administered by local (government) health care facilities will contribute to the early detection and treatment of diseases.- To be used for the long-term management and treatment of residents’ health- To be used for passing on to future generations the lessons gleaned from health management surveysTarget subjects: Residents living within the evacuation zone and elsewhere, and those deemed in need based on their basic survey responsesContent: General health tests and white blood count differentialSurvey of expectant and nursing mothers(questionnaires administered to mothers who received new Maternal and Child Health Handbooks from the prefecture between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011)government and non-government organizations, such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). At the symposium, the health hazards of high environmental radiation exposure were analyzed and assessed, with the following conclusions and recommendations being issued.[Conclusions and Recommendations](1) During the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, the evacuation of residents, their instructions to remain indoors, and the safety regulations issued regarding food were appropriate measures. To date, no acute radiation disorders from the nuclear power plant accident have emerged. Prophylactic thyroid medicine was not necessarily required for Fukushima residents. The impacts of direct radiation exposure on the health of the general public, including evacuees, was extremely limited and small in comparison to those at Chernobyl. However, the social, psychological, and economic impacts of the Fukushima accident were immense. In light of these notable points, on-going surveillance and assessment of environmental radiation dose rates is necessary to establish a consensus on various issues.(2) Japan’s medical professionals must obtain up-to-date information about health and radiation to provide maximum support to Fukushima’s residents. Continuous monitoring of health will be necessary for this level of health care, and some activities have already begun to gather the necessary health information and population statistics. To boost the efficiency and response rates of the surveys, it will be indispensible to expand them into more regionally organized participatory projects.(3) From medical treatment and research conducted on survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings over the course of 60 years, Japan has amassed the world’s highest level of knowledge and experience regarding radiation. This specialized expertise is an asset that must be used to aid the citizens suffering due to the Fukushima accident. At the same time, the government and administration must realize the utmost importance of learning from the body of knowledge that has been created.(4) Despite Japan having a state-of-the-art medical system for emergency radiation treatment, hospitals that were reliant upon this system were Special Report from Fukushima on the Great East Japan Earthquake: Hope in the Midst of Adversity, Part 3