by Kwonjune J. Seung, Molly Franke, Stephen W. Linton
PLoS Med 13(8): e1002062 – Published: August 2, 2016
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is one of the most serious public health problems facing North Korea. Current international funding for TB control in North Korea is dominated by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), which focuses almost exclusively on drug-susceptible TB. The Eugene Bell Foundation (EBF) began treating MDR TB patients in collaboration with the North Korea Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in 2008. Since then, close to 4,000 patients have been enrolled in treatment, over 1,000 patients in 2015 alone. The North Korean MDR TB treatment program has demonstrated better results than many other countries. MDR TB treatment should be scaled up immediately to the many North Koreans who need it.