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North Korea gets health equipment

28th February 2007

A US$20 million health project aimed at improving health care for women and children in North Korea is now into its second year, with aims to boost care for around five million people in the isolated Stalinist state.

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The project is supplying equipment for 60 county hospitals and 1,200 clinics, has brought in 35 ambulances, and 3,000 medical bags for doctors, the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is sponsoring the project, said in a statement on its website.

It is also upgrading emergency rooms and delivery areas in 30 county hospitals, the laboratories of 20 county hospitals, four provincial blood centres, and blood transfusion services in 10 county hospitals. The equipment, vehicles and supplies have been either provided in-kind by South Korea, or purchased internationally, WHO said.

The project began early in 2006 when Dr LEE Jong-wook, the late Director-General of WHO, signed the agreement with the Republic of Korea. The project is slated to last five years in total, and aims to install basic equipment focused on the care of women and children across the country's entire health service.

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