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Karla Breen Rickerby, Barbara Cordell
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 7, 27 Jul 2012, pp 355 - 359

Following the early-morning explosion of reactor four at the Chernobyl nuclear plant on 26 April 1986, radioactive fallout fell over 80% of Belarus. More than 2.2 million people were affected, including thousands of children. As a result, there are now over 50 000 children in 600 orphanages in Belarus. Many of the orphanages are without basic amenities and are operating in dire circumstances. This article outlines two case studies of orphaned children with profound disabilities in one of these orphanages. The first author, a nurse volunteer from Ireland, used a method of touch called the 'M technique' to calm and soothe the children. The M technique is a gentle repetitive method of touch that can be learnt in a few hours. The results suggest that even when the situation appears very challenging, simple touch can have a beneficial effect.

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