Flood-stricken N. Korea likely to suffer from contagion of infectious diseases


North Korea is at serious risk from contagious diseases following damage from recent floods, an official from North Korea’s Red Cross told a newspaper in Japan on Friday.

In an interview with the Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan, Kim Eun-chul, a vice secretary-general at the Red Cross Society of North Korea, said, “What we are most concerned with now is the spread of infectious diseases in the severely damaged areas.”

“The destruction of the water supply facilities could result in various diseases including skin diseases and diarrhea, as well as flue.”

Kim showed his anxiety, saying that the communist country would not be able to cope with the diseases when they broke out, as many of the North’s public health centers are also destroyed from floods.

“More than 560 hospitals were destroyed and 2,100 medical offices were damaged. The medical supplies were wet and useless. We can’t even read charts as they were soaked,” he said.

“New patients with diarrhea are reported one after another. We are now relying solely on the emergency medicines provided by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC).”

The IFRC shipped US$1,69 million worth of medical aid to North Korea earlier this month, which can be used for three months, according to Kim.


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