|Health care improved in Belarus after the Second
World War. But, since independence, a lack of medical equipment and funding
has created a system that fails to meet many basic health needs of the
Belarus's health care system has also been overburdened because of the health problems resulting from the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986. The Belarusian government has limited funds to help residents in the affected zones who need medical care and uncontaminated food. Organizations from around the world have donated medical equipment and medicine, and have established medical centres to monitor health in the region.
|The Chernobyl disaster has also affected the health of Belarusians who lived outside the contaminated areas. In the years following the explosion, when the general population had not yet been informed of the extent of the disaster, farming in contaminated areas continued. Radiation was transferred from the soil to plants. Crops that contained unsafe levels of radiation were sold all over the country. Miscarriages and the deaths of newborns have increased since Chernobyl. The rate of thyroid cancer among children has also increased. Nevertheless, some people have refused to leave the contaminated area, and others, who were relocated to other areas, have returned because they couldn't find jobs elsewhere.||
|Alcoholism is a serious problem in
Belarus. A bottle of vodka is cheaper than a bottle of beer. People sometimes
pay for goods and services with bottles of vodka. The government cannot
afford to sponsor preventive health programs at present.
Many Belarusians still use traditional healing methods, such as infusions made by boiling locally grown plants. For colds, some Belarusians eat raspberry jam or drink tea made from raspberry leaves.