Stanford medical school to help N. Korean doctors treat tuberculosis

SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- The Stanford University School of Medicine plans to send a team of doctors and healthcare providers to North Korea this month to help the country diagnose and treat tuberculosis (TB), a media report said Wednesday.

The team will arrive in the North next Tuesday and plans to stay for two weeks to pass on know-how on how to combat TB to local doctors and nurses, Radio Free Asia said.

North Korea reportedly has a large number of people suffering from TB, with the disease being closely associated with poverty. A jump in cases following floods and poor harvests in the past had alarmed the international community and compelled them to ship medicine and other humanitarian supplies to the impoverished country.

The latest trip has been arranged by Christian Friends of Korea (CFK), a U.S. non-profit group, it said.

The Washington-based broadcaster said CFK representatives will also accompany the medical team to Pyongyang so they can check up on the progress of a national TB hospital.

Besides the Stanford group, AmeriCares, another U.S. charity organization, recently said it sent medical supplies such as antibiotics and drugs to treat respiratory problems to the communist country.

The shipment is expected to arrive by boat later in the month and be distributed to six hospitals and several clinics in Pyongyang and North Hwanghae Province, the group said.

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