New Delhi. 24 July 2020. The Government of India has extended medical assistance worth about US$ 1 million to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to a request received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

India is sensitive to the shortage of medical supply situation in DPRK and decided to grant humanitarian assistance of US$1mn in the form of anti-Tuberculosis medicines. The medical assistance is under the aegis of an ongoing World Health Organisation’s (WHO) anti-tuberculosis programme in DPRK.

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is one of the most serious public health problems facing North Korea, which has been included as one of the 30 countries on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) high-burden MDR TB country list.

Current international funding for TB control in North Korea is dominated by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), which focuses almost exclusively on drug-susceptible TB.

The Eugene Bell Foundation (EBF) began treating MDR TB patients in collaboration with the North Korea Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in 2008. Since then, close to 4,000 patients have been enrolled in treatment, over 1,000 patients in 2015 alone.