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South Korean funding helps North Korea improve health care

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1369 (Published 10 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1369
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    North Korea has reduced its maternal mortality rates and numbers of deaths from surgery or postoperative complications, thanks to improvements in health care brought about by a joint programme between South and North Korea. The programme was funded by Seoul and facilitated by the World Health Organization.

    Eric Laroche, WHO’s assistant director general for health action in crises, told reporters, “It’s a very cost effective means to get high returns and reduce the incidence of disease and mortality.”

    The programme, which began in 2006 and was initiated by the late head of WHO, Lee Jong-wook, himself from South Korea, has helped train more than 6000 doctors and has renovated and equipped four provincial hospitals (two paediatric and two maternity), 80 county hospitals, and 1200 …

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