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IPPNW medical students bike for the ban

February 23, 2022

Joint Statement by IPPNW Student Chapters in Germany, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and Zambia

Students in Maiduguri, Nigeria prepare to bike for the ban

The weekend of 18 February, dozens of medical students in six countries — Germany, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and Zambia — carried IPPNW’s mission to their local communities via regional bike tours. Despite the physical distance between the chapters, all were brought together with one unifying message: the abolition of nuclear weapons is a public health imperative

Participants, many of whom started their medical school experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, know first hand the detrimental impacts the pandemic has had on our health infrastructure. Even so, the current situation would be nothing compared to even a single nuclear detonation over one of our cities. In fact, a recent International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) report models the detonation of one 100-kiloton airburst nuclear explosion over major cities in each of the nine nuclear-armed states and Germany. The report finds that medical infrastructure would be overwhelmed by many times more new patients in one city – in one second – than new COVID-19 patients in one day in the entire country at the peak of the pandemic. A meaningful medical response to any use of nuclear weapons would not be possible. 

IPPNW students also biked through Kathmandu, Nepal.

Along the routes, students made their call for a nuclear weapons free world heard with “Bike for the Ban” shirts and banners, meetings with decision-makers, public demonstrations, and through social media. Students in Kenya were featured on K24 evening news in Eldoret, urging their government to take the lead and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Russian medical students slipped away from the cold and hosted an indoor spin class, with accompanying social media actions, while Zambian students were featured on their University’s radio station to spread the word. In Maiduguri, Nigeria, over 50 students biked through their university campus and educated fellow students on the public health risks associated with nuclear weapons and conventional war. Medical students in Kathmandu and Simara, Nepal advocated for a nuclear weapons free world by hosting a cycle rally around the two cities and connecting with fellow youth groups. Due to last week’s inclimate weather, the German students will host their bike tour in Berlin this Thursday. Follow the group on social media to learn more.

Cyclists In Lusaka, Zambia

This weekend’s events follow a long line of IPPNW student-led bike tours and bold actions for change. We are proud to join the network of youth leaders advocating to abolish nuclear weapons, but we hope future generations will not need to take up the torch. We have a unique opportunity to reject this lethal inheritance, and therefore call upon the leaders of our six countries to protect our future, and that of generations to come, by adhering to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).We must prevent what we cannot cure.

…two more bike tours for the ban in Eldoret, Kenya…
…and in Simara, Nepal.
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