Chernobyl’s toll

While Dr A McCormick and Steuart Campbell banter over the true number of deaths ­following the Chernobyl disaster (Letters, 12 and 13 February), it might be worth both of them considering another statistic.

Approximately eight years after the disaster, I was working in the children’s ward of a Kiev cancer hospital. The doctors and specialists were convinced many of the children had thyroid ­cancer and other problems directly resulting from the ­Chernobyl explosion.

Many had died and a large number of the children I saw would later die as a result of the same problems.

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When I asked for the exact number of deaths, I was told that the hospital had been instructed to send all children home to spend their final days with their families. This would also mean that the hospital would record no deaths there as being a direct ­consequence of the Chernobyl disaster.

One doctor said: “The statistics have changed, but the facts ­remain the same.”

The true statistics might never be known, but the facts do remain that many more died as a result of the explosion at Chernobyl than are often recorded on “official statistics”.

John Barrett

Dovecot Road