GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM BUDGET NEEDS:
GRS-DPRK Blindness Prevention Project Annual Cost: $150,000
EMERGENCY MEDICAL AID
For over 11 years GRS has been providing emergency medical aid for outbreaks and natural disasters in DPRK. Medical Aid has been provided for over 15 clinics and hospitals in the South and North Hwanghae provinces, South and North Pyongan provinces, and Kangwon Provinces.
International, MAP International, GBHCMF, and University Mississippi
Medical Center have been working together for this project. Essential medicines and medical supplies are continuously needed.
GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
DPRK MEDICAL DELEGATION ATTENDED AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Dr. Jones, who is a GRS board member, UMMC vice chancellor, and American Heart Association president, hosted the DPRK medical delegation to the American Heart Association Conference. Over 25,000 medical/health professionals attended in this meeting and DPRK medical delegates had many opportunities to share their experiences with world prominent medical doctors and scientists. Dr. Jones is giving a speech about "The Challenge of Health Disparities".
LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY PROJECT
In April 2004, three DPRK surgeons were trained in laparoscopic surgery at UMMC and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Laparoscopic equipment was then donated through GRS to Pyongyang Medical University Hospital. Five months after the DPRK surgeons returned home, they hosted a team of U.S. surgeons sponsored by GRS. The Korean and American surgeons subsequently teamed together to perform three successful laparoscopic surgeries. Since November 2004, DPRK surgeons have completed more than 500 additional laparoscopic surgeries on their own.
GRS Seeks Partner for a Korean Traditional Medicine Project
GRS needs a partner to work with the Korean Traditional Medicine Hospital for this project.This project has been researched and planned for several years. These
medical hospitals seek to modernize through education, medical
exchanges, new equipment, and new medications. Combining modern
treatment and traditional medicine will be the focus of this project.The holistic treatment for many diseases have been developed in western and eastern medical society. Traditional Korean medicines have been studied and used to treat patients for over 2000 years. Over 65% of patients are still treated by traditional Korean medicines in DPRK because of the efficacy of these methods and the shortage of modern medicines. A new opportunity to partner with DPRK is significant to our ultimate objectives.
Dr. Bill Conrad, GRS Volunteer Doctor examines North Korean Patient
Through the Medical Delegations conducted by GRS in partnership with various hospitals in DPRK, GRS launched the GRS Blindness Prevention Project in the DPRK in 2008. A GRS assessment team for eye care visited and researched the actual conditions of the DPRK eye care system in DPRK. The University of Mississippi Medical Center and Dean McGee Eye Institute, and The American Academy of Ophthalmology, and other institutions have been working and preparing for this project together. Medicines and equipment for treating eye diseases are needed to continue this project.
Cataract blindness alone affects an estimated 400,000 in DPRK
Blindness is a serious and devastating affliction. It has deep social, economic and public health implications. Many of the diseases that cause blindness are preventable as well as treatable. The most common are cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis, childhood blindness, refractive errors and low vision. Other causes are glaucoma, trauma, and diabetic retinopathy. Children are most susceptible to infection, but blinding effects are often not felt until adulthood. Cataract blindness alone affects an estimated 400,000 in DPRK. The lack of treatment for eye diseases is severe in DPRK where 972 eye doctors and 664 ophthalmic nurses across the country treat over 23 million people. Available healthcare personnel and resources fall drastically short in meeting the needs for eye care services or treatment. Cataract surgery can restore near normal vision but does require resources and expertise. Trachoma has been successfully treated with antibiotic therapy.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH EXTRA ACTIVITIES
Reciprocal Respect, Relationship development, and Reconciliatory Cooperation are GRS core values to empower global health programs. Medical delegates respect each other's culture and enjoy its experiences.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
1999-First medicine shipment
2000-DPRK medical delegation to the USA
2002-DPRK medical delegation to the USA
2004-Laparoscopic surgery training at UMMC.
2004-The US surgeons and DPRK surgeons operated laparoscopic surgeries together three times in DPRK
2005-GRS medical delegation to DPRK
2006-Two medical delegation exchanges between DPRK and the USA
2007-DPRK medical delegation to the USA
2007-Three shipments for medicine and medical/hospital supplies and equipment
2007-Installation of Laparoscopy traning center in DPRK
2008-Phase 1 of USAID Hospital Generator Project
CURRENT AND FUTURE PROJECTS