Drought, DPR Korea - July 2015
88 counties and 20 cities in four provinces of DPR Korea were affected by prolonged dry spell followed by drought during May 2014 – June 2015. According to the National Coordination Committee, 11 million people are affected by drought. Increase of diarrhea, respiratory infection and skin diseases were registered. Increase of acute malnutrition among children was observed with expected upsurge in next few weeks. Unusual increase of non-communicable diseases, often incidents of heatstroke and sun-stroke observed among farmers. Shortage of essential medicines, laboratory consumables, chlorine, water purification tablets, ORS, Zink and micronutrients were registered in all health facilities. There was an urgent need to reduce morbidity and prevent outbreak of water borne diseases and deaths among population affected by drought.
How it made a difference
Following activities were carried out with the help of the SEARHEF funds:
- Immediate procurement of two complete IEHK and 100 basic units of the kits that were distributed to 10 provincial hospitals
- Chlorine powder for 108 affected county hospitals
- Support to mobile health teams and strengthen capacity of disease surveillance and early warning system in affected areas
Outcome of assistance from SEARHEF
• Capacity of provincial, county and ri hospitals to cope with the increased number of patients improved timely and efficiently.
• Institution water tanks, along with IEHK and chlorine powder upgraded safe drinking water supply to health institutions and improved sanitation of hospital premises.
• Disease surveillance system strengthened through mobile medical teams
• Morbidity and mortality of victims of drought decreased; epidemic outbreak of water borne diseases in four affected provinces prevented
• Partnership between MoPH, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA improved through regular Health Cluster Coordination.