North Korea Agrees to Collaborate to Fight Tuberculosis
March 29, 2009 | From the field | International Peace & Security

With support from MacArthur and grantee the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Stanford University has secured North Korea’s approval for collaboration with U.S. experts in combating tuberculosis (TB). North Korea has the highest incidence of TB in Asia, twice that of neighboring China and South Korea. Inadequate diets and the limitations of the North Korean health care system likely deepen the public health challenges posed by the disease. After months of negotiation, Stanford has formed a coalition of medical NGOs, which will send a delegation to North Korea this month. The delegation will prepare to launch a national reference laboratory in Pyongyang, characterize the extent and patterns of drug resistance, strengthen the nation’s qualifications for participation in global funds for TB control, advance regional cooperation to control the disease, and, ultimately, deepen the process of U.S.-North Korea normalization.

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