Néstor Nicolás, M.D., Ph.D.
Undersecretary of Emergency
Ministry of Justice and Security
Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
I am Néstor Nicolás, an Argentinean medical doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine. I currently serve as the Emergency Management Undersecretary for Buenos Aires City Government. I have been in this position for five years now and I have previously served as Head of Operations for an International Humanitarian Aid Organization. Both of these challenging positions gave me the possibility to participate in a vast array of actions worldwide, in response to natural and manmade disasters.
Apart from my current position, I am a temporary consultant for the Pan American Health Organization. Together withthe experts working there, we addressed the necessity of creating guidelines that would help health workers throughout the American continent, in the response of nuclear and radiological emergencies.
Through scientific publications and international meetings we learned of the magnificent task that Fukushima Medical University is undertaking in relation to the medical aspect of the Fukushima population that has been exposed to ionizing radiations. Due to this recognition, Pan American Health Organization members requested FMU´s collaboration in the creation of the above mentioned guidelines.
This request was received with enthusiasm by Fukushima Medical University authorities, not only organizing a visit for October 2012, but also scheduling a full range of activities, including meetings with former and actual officials of the Fukushima prefecture in charge of emergencies, NGO members, National Institute of Radiological Sciences members and board members of Fukushima Medical Association, amongst others. In addition, I had the opportunity to visit and understand all activities that have been and are being developed in response to radiation exposure caused by Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant incident in March 2011.
I was given the freedom to participate in meetings and case discussions. I held long and meaningful conversations with the heads of each medical area and was given full access to case registry. I was able to speak to the staff and could appreciate the quality and quantity of the existing medical equipment.
I had very high expectations for my visit to Fukushima Medical University, considered the best place for treatment and follow up of patients exposed to ionizing radiations. But after finally visiting the center, what I encountered there far exceeded my expectations. Each of the variables and dimensions considered was simply outstanding.