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Medical Journals Warn Of ‘Growing’ Nuclear Weapon Threat


More than 100 medical journals across the world have issued a rare joint call for urgent action to eliminate nuclear weapons, warning that the threat of nuclear catastrophe was “great and growing”.

[Image source: Wikimedia]


Officially, a total of 8 countries (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) have nuclear weapons. A ninth country – Israel – is also generally believed to have them but has not publicly acknowledged it. Between them, these states are estimated to possess over 12,500 warheads.

As the call issued by the medical journals points out, any use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic for humanity. Even a “limited” nuclear war involving only 250 nuclear weapons could kill 120 million people outright and cause global climate disruption leading to a nuclear famine, putting two billion people at risk. A large-scale nuclear war between the United States and Russia could kill 200 million people or more in the near term and potentially cause a global “nuclear winter” that could kill 5-6 billion people, threatening the survival of humanity.

With political tensions currently growing between the world’s nuclear powers, and, at the same time, as many as 828 million people globally still suffering from hunger and malnutrition, preventing the use of nuclear weapons – and, ultimately, abolishing them completely – has to be seen as an urgent public health priority. Achieving the goal of ‘Health for All’ will not be possible in a world living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation.

In order for a truly healthy world to become possible, it is essential that political leaders are put under pressure to genuinely commit to achieving global peace. For, as Albert Einstein once said: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”