Group calls for bigger Seoul role in tackling TB in NKorea

November 15, 2018 - 10:50 pm

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.S.-based nonprofit group has called for South Korea to take stronger steps to fight a tuberculosis crisis in North Korea it says has worsened under strengthened U.S.-led sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile program.

Eugene Bell Foundation Chairman Stephen Linton on Friday criticized Seoul's supposed lack of urgency to help aid organizations gain sanctions exemptions to facilitate the delivery of supplies to treat patients in North Korea.

The World Health Organization says about 107,000 cases of tuberculosis were reported in North Korea in 2017, resulting in about 16,000 deaths.

Linton says the efforts to fight tuberculosis in North Korea were dealt a seriously blow when the Geneva-based nonprofit Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently decided to end its program in the country.

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