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Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The pills patients with tuberculosis have to take. © Oksana Parafeniuk

    MSF initiated activities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in March 2019, aiming to help improve general healthcare and in particular, treatment for tuberculosis (TB).

    Around nine million people in the DPRK have limited access to adequate healthcare, and the country has one of the highest burdens of TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the world*. However, the capacity to care for patients with TB is extremely limited. 

    During the year, MSF helped improve TB diagnosis and treatment by upgrading laboratories and X-ray facilities at the two TB hospitals we support in North Hamgyong province. We supplied laboratory and medical equipment, such as X-ray machines, and training for clinicians and technicians, with a view to commencing medical activities in 2020. MSF also provided logistics support at the hospitals, such as electrical infrastructure. 

    In addition, our teams worked to strengthen general healthcare, with a focus on paediatrics and neonatology. This included training clinicians, supplying therapeutic and supplementary food for the treatment of children with malnutrition, improving sterilisation and referral capacity, and providing medical consumables such as protective equipment, needles, syringes and laboratory items.

    *Based on absolute number of incident cases. Global tuberculosis report 2019, World Health Organization, Geneva, October 2019.

    Read full article in International Activity Report 2019