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WHO includes N. Korea among countries most burdened with tuberculosis: report

All Headlines 11:05 October 05, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has included North Korea on a list of 30 countries with the worst tuberculosis problem over the 2016-20 period, Radio Free Asia reported Friday.

Citing a global report of the tuberculosis epidemic filed by the WHO, the U.S.-funded broadcaster said that 87 percent of the patients suffering from the disease worldwide last year were in the 30 countries, mostly African nations. The report came out ahead of a Sept. 28 United Nations high-level meeting on tuberculosis as part of efforts to accelerate progress towards the goal of ending the epidemic by 2030.

In 2017, the number of tuberculosis patients in the North was tallied at 131,000, while cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis numbered 5,200. During the year, the country's incidence rate for the disease came to 513 per 100,000 population, behind 665 in Lesotho, 567 in South Africa, 554 in the Philippines and 551 in Mozambique.

Mortality from the disease per 100,000 population was 63, compared with 43 the previous year, an indication that the tuberculosis situation in the North was worsening. The North's mortality from the disease compares with 73 in Mozambique, 68 in the Central African Republic and 67 in Angola.

The North is estimated to need a budget of US$84 million for 2018 to tackle the disease, but 92 percent of the budget has yet to be funded, the report said.

This December 2017 file photo, released by the Eugene Bell Foundation, shows North Korean medical workers registering tuberculosis patients. (Yonhap)


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