In the News – N. Korea launches first multi-purpose vaccination project
North Korea has launched its first multi-purpose vaccination project recently with funds provided by international organizations, including UNICEF, part of which was contributed by South Korea, according to its state media and officials in Seoul.
The North held a ceremony this past Thursday to launch the Pentavalent Vaccine project aimed at inoculating children against five diseases — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilius influenza type b — before beginning the project at two hospitals in Pyongyang, state media reported.
During the ceremony, the North’s health minister, Choe Chang-sik, thanked international organizations for their support for the project, saying close cooperation between the U.N. Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) helped realize the project.
A UNICEF official said the organization funded the vaccination project with money collected from South Korea and other donor countries, and Seoul’s contribution represents a large portion of the fund.
According to an official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry, Seoul provided UNICEF with US$5.65 million from its inter-Korean cooperation fund last year for the purposes of purchasing vaccines and other medical supplies, and $900,000 of it is earmarked for vaccination-related purchases.