North Korean Government, International Community Should Commit To Improving Country’s Health Care Issues

IRIN: North Korea’s silent health crisis
Gianluca Spezza, research fellow at the DPRK Strategic Research Center and assistant professor of international relations at KIMEP University, and Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings, lecturer in humanitarian studies at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership

“North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump are scheduled to begin talks on 27 February in Hanoi, Vietnam — the second encounter between the two men after last June’s summit in Singapore, which sparked reams of analysis but few tangible results. Speculation abounds over what might materialize this time: concessions on sanctions, a path toward denuclearization, perhaps even … an official peace declaration. As the two leaders meet, however, everyday North Koreans are struggling with widespread malnutrition and food insecurity. … Levels of malnutrition, maternal health, and tuberculosis are worrying enough, but a lack of accurate data on HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B presents new cause for alarm. … For North Koreans grappling with the long-term impacts of an inadequate health system, a peace agreement and an end to hostilities will not, on their own, bring an improvement to their lives. … Without adequate funding, access, and the increased capacity to cope with today’s health burdens … many ordinary North Koreans will continue to struggle to live a full and healthy life…” (2/25).

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