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Spend on health care instead of weapons, say doctors

Staff Reporter

IPPNW 18th world congress to be held in New Delhi from March 7 to 12 next year


  • Association demands global nuclear weapons convention
  • Campaign to make South Asia a nuclear weapons-free zone

    VIJAYAWADA: As many as 4,000 Indian doctors are working in the international movement for abolition of nuclear weapons. Members of the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), which is affiliated to the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), are spreading the message to other doctors through various means, says IDPA general secretary Arun Mitra. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Dr. Mitra said that IPPNW would hold its 18th world congress from March 7 to 12 next year in New Delhi. Explaining that it was two cardiologists who founded the IPPNW in 1980, Dr. Mitra said that the organisation later launched the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in 60 countries around the world. The association was demanding an international nuclear weapons convention to discuss the phasing out of nuclear weapons.

    Proliferation risks

    Dr. Mitra expressed concern that the US, Russia and seven other countries in between them still held 27,000 nuclear weapons. Renewed pressure for expanding civilian nuclear power would also increase proliferation risks. Unfortunately, poor countries like India and Pakistan had also fallen into the trap of nuclear arms race.

    He observed that problems like extreme poverty, glaring illiteracy, malnutrition, coupled with lack of safe drinking water resources and high rate of infant and maternal mortality plagued countries in the sub-continent. But the funds needed to remedy these problems were being spent on purchase of arms and for producing nuclear weapons.

    Dr. Mitra said that the IDPD was campaigning to make South Asia a nuclear weapons-free zone. Latin America, Africa and South East Asia were considered nuclear weapons-free zones and the IPPNW wanted the sub-continent too to be made a nuclear free zone.

    More than 300 accidents occurred in nuclear plants in India, but information about them was blacked out from the public. IDPD central executive member V. Sadanandam and Andhra Pradesh Medical Council chairman V. Ramprasad were present.

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