Observation of World AIDS Day
2012 in DPRK
Ministry of Public Health,
DPR Korea in collaboration with WHO and IFRC observed World AIDS Day on 3
December, 2012 (1 December being Saturday) in order to increase public
awareness on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The commemorative
event was held in People’s Palace
of Culture, Pyongyang with participation of health
professionals from health facilities, representatives from social
organizations like Youth Union, Trade Union, Women Union, UN agencies and
Speaking on the occasion, Dr
Pak Jong Min, Director of Department of External Affairs, MoPH highlighted the HIV free status of DPRK. Dr
Nazira Artykova, Acting Representative of WHO, quoted the message of Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang,
Regional Director of WHO South East Asia Region. Both the speakers underlined the
importance of strengthening surveillance systems including serological
and behavioral surveys and Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing
(VCCT) at health facilities to maintain HIV free status of the country.
International and national
participants including journalists were later exposed to health education
around HIV/AIDS, counseling and HIV testing activities at the Pyongyang Maternity
Hospital and National Blood
Center. The key
messages including IEC information on the prevention and control of
HIV/AIDS on the occasion of World AIDS Day were disseminated through mass
media including TV, Radio and newspapers.
Health education activities
on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS by health education teams were
carried out at provincial level on the occasion of the World AIDS Day.
GLOBAL FUND PROJECT IN DPR KOREA
The Phase I of Global Fund
supported TB Project in DPR Korea started in June 2010 with UNICEF as the
Principal Recipient of this Global Fund grant and WHO is Sub-recipient.
Considering the high performance ratings of A2 for Phase I
implementation, the Global Fund approved the Phase II of the grant for a
total amount USD 34.3 million. WHO DRPK signed the agreement for Phase II
of the project with UNICEF on 15 November 2012 for an amount of US$ 2.784
million. This phase will continue till June 2015.
The Global Fund Malaria
Project Phase II Grant Agreement between UNICEF and WHO was signed on 26
October 2012 for an amount of US$ 3.254 million. That grant will continue
till 28 February 2015.
During Phase I of the Project, the four key
players, Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF, WHO and the Global Fund
worked cohesively and with strong commitment to not only timely implement
all the planned activities but overcame various
challenges. The key achievements under the grant have been: Reduction of
malaria disease burden by 40% as compared to 2009 at national level
(reduction of 94% compared to 2001); No reported malaria deaths;
distribution of 711,960 LLINs and coverage of over 486,411 households
with Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). Under the TB grant NSP case
detection rates last year was over 81% and
treatment success rate was over 90%. Diagnosis and treatment of
drug-resistant TB cases has been started, over 14,000 health workers have been trained this year and other
sectors including railways, police and army has been sensitized about TB
Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director visits
Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South East Asia was in DPR Korea from 24 to 26
September 2012. During his short stay, he met with H.E. Prof. Dr Choe
Chang Sik, Minister for Public Health, Mr Ri
Hung Sik, Director-General, Department of
International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of
high profile government officials and Heads of UN Agencies to exchange
views on health sector and other developmental activities in DPR Korea.
underlined the importance of presence of UN agencies in DPR Korea to
continue humanitarian assistance.
He also emphasized the importance of development in other sectors
like nutrition, education, urban planning water and sanitation.
also visited a number of health facilities in Pyongyang:
Vaccine Factory, Telemedicine Project at Kimmanyu Hospital,
National TB Reference Laboratory, National
Addressing WCO staff, Dr Samlee appreciated
their dedicated efforts and encouraged them to further build on
collaborative efforts with the Government of DPR Korea, other partner
agencies and international community to ensure good health for the people
of the country.
World TB Day
Observed in DPR Korea
World TB Day which falls on
24th March each year was commemorated on 25th March 2013 in DPR Korea.
During the programme organized by Ministry of Public Health at the
Peoples Palace of Culture, Pyongyang, Dr Pak Jong Min, Director of the
Department of External Affairs, Ministry of Public Health expressed his
appreciations to the health professionals and officials of various
national and international agencies including WHO, UNICEF, Global Fund
and international NGO partners for their active support to the national
efforts for prevention and control of tuberculosis. He said “with quality
implementation of DOTS strategy, we have been able to surpass the WHO
target for case detection rate with a remarkable progress in treatment of
new smear positive cases by achieving more than 90% treatment success
rate last year.”
Dr Yonas Tegegn, WHO Representative to DPR Korea, while
highlighting the success in TB control achieved through exemplary multi-sectoral approach, stressed the
need for further efforts, especially in relation to rise in antimicrobial
resistance and in relation to the high cost and more difficult management
of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). He underscored the need to enhance
technical capacity needed for diagnosis of MDR-TB and restated the
support to be provided by WHO for quality assurance leading to
accreditation of National TB Lab. WHO is also providing GeneXpert system
for rapid diagnosis of MDRTB, he added. On the occasion of World TB Day,
WHO also provided warm clothing for TB patients in few sanatorium.
Ms Desiree Jongsma, UNICEF Representative during her speech stressed the
need for strengthening diagnosis and management of childhood tuberculosis
with adoption of new guideline for pediatric TB. She stressed the need
for continuation of effective partnership between different sectors and
organizations prevailing in DPRK for dealing with challenges TB control.
The formal session was
followed by a visit to the National TB Reference Laboratory which was
being supported by partners particularly Christian Friends of Korea (CFK)
Laboratory acts as reference laboratory for provincial and county TB laboratories and which also is
a centre for training and mentoring of laboratory staff at all levels.