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UN health project to benefit 5 million people in DPR Korea

UN health project to benefit 5 million people in DPR Korea

Some 5 million people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are benefiting from a five-year $20-million United Nations health project funded by the Republic of Korea to improve the health of women and children.

“This health project, funded by the Republic of Korea, is making a measurable difference in the health of women and children in the DPR Korea,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Health Action in Crises Ala Alwan said today at a meeting in Seoul to renew the agreement for its second year.

“People directly benefit when health workers are trained, and hospitals and clinics have the equipment necessary to help women to give birth, or save people who need emergency care,” he added.

The project aims to improve the standards for health care and public health in DPRK with a particular focus on the needs of women and children and is also helping to retrain health professionals and improve county hospitals and Ri (community) clinics.

Specifically, it is supplying equipment for 60 county hospitals and 1,200 Ri clinics, has brought in 35 ambulances, and 3,000 medical bags for doctors. It is also upgrading emergency rooms and delivery areas in 30 county hospitals, the laboratories of 20 county hospitals, four provincial blood centres, and blood transfusion services in 10 county hospitals. The equipment, vehicles and supplies have been either provided in-kind by the ROK or purchased internationally.

The project began early in 2006 and is slated to last five years, at the end of which the entire health care system, including some 200 counties and 4,000 Ri, will have basic equipment and supplies for essential care for mothers and children. Advanced information technology will also be available to around 300,000 health workers.