S. Korea OKs EugeneBell’s plan to send TB medication to N.K.

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s unification ministry has approved an application by the EugeneBell Foundation Korea to send medication for tuberculosis to North Korea, a government official said Wednesday.   Detail …

“I want to go back to school as soon as I finish treatment. It is difficult, but I know I have to take my medications everydayto get well.”

  Bohye Yi(name changed) a Patient at Botonggang Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Center My name is Bohye Yi and I am 14 years old. I was tested for MDR-TB when the Eugene Bell delegation came to our center last year and immediately began treatment. When I started I had a fever but am much better now. My mother brought me to this MDR-TB treatment center. Because she works, she hasn’t been able to visit me often. Though I miss her a lot, I am not lonely. The doctors and nurses are nice to me. It is difficult, but I know I have to take my medications everyday to get well. I want to go back to school as soon as I finish treatment. Although I did not do very well in school, I miss my classmates and teachers. I can’t wait to join our music class because I like to sing.

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US Delegation Returns From North Korea

                 The Eugene Bell Foundation’s 2015 spring delegation has returned from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). The sixteen-member delegation visited multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment centers from April 20th to May 12th.        The delegation was divided into two teams. As usual, the Treatment Team visited all twelve of the MDR-TB treatment facilities supported by EugeneBell. At each center the team enrolled tested patient candidates, enrolled new patients, and delivered the next six months supply of medications. At the same time, the Construction Team was assembling the first three duplex patient wards under EugeneBell’s New Patient Ward Project.        Successful treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis requires long-term treatment. In EugeneBell’s program in North Korea, patients have to take powerful MDR-TB medications for a minimum of 18 months. MDR-TB medications have serious side-effects, including nausea, vomiting, anxiety and joint pain, to… Read More ►

A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE – The Yongjin Kim Story

  Up until just 70 years ago, tuberculosis – the deadliest killer in human history – had killed 1 in 7 of all people who had ever lived. The discovery of a breakthrough antibiotic effectively eradicated TB in the U.S. and most of the developed world. However, this deadly airborne infectious disease is still a major cause of death in developing countries around the world. Making matters worse is a new mutated form of the disease called multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which resists today’s most common antibiotics. North Korea is no exception to this global challenge. EugeneBell is running the only large scale program saving lives from MDR-TB in North Korea.  Thanks to generous donors, EugeneBell has doubled the number of hospitals and patients and has a cure rate of 76% of those treated.  While this is all very encouraging, EBF still is unable to treat all the patients afflicted and… Read More ►

Harvard Political Review Story Discussing EugeneBell’s Successful Approach To Saving Lives in North Korea

Unexpected Partnerships with North Korea By Joe Choe CG When North Korea makes international headlines, it is often about Kim Jong Un and his latest threats against South Korea and the United States. When human rights in the country are discussed, it is often in relation to labor camps and food shortages. However, what is often overlooked are humanitarian issues like tuberculosis (TB), a disease that has largely vanished from the developed world but remains the deadliest infectious disease in North Korea. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), North Korea’s TB incidence is four times the rate of its neighbors China and South Korea. This has been exacerbated by the fact that there are strains of TB in North Korea that are resistant to conventional medication—drug resistant TB—which are much more difficult to cure both physically and financially. Despite political animosity between NK and the developed world,… Read More ►

A Doctor’s Story

Interview with an Eugene Bell TB center doctor.

Pharmacist  Juryon Kim, Yangdok MDR-TB Center We had the chance to speak with Juryon Kim, the pharmacist at the Yangdok MDR-TB Center, who early on chose tuberculosis treatment as her life’s mission. Eugene Bell Foundation’s (EBF) partnership with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in North Korea is critical to the amazing success we are having saving lives of patients suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.   The EBF program is generating world class cure rates. In 2014, EBF realized 76% cure rates in part thanks to the support of doctors, nurses and staff like JuryonKim.   With MOPH’s partnership and the continued support from our generous sponsors, we expect these cure rates to climb even higher in the years to come. “It’s a joy to see patients recover and return home to their families” Please introduce yourself Hello, my name is Juryon Kim, I am 23 years old. I am currently working as… Read More ►

“I Am Forever Indebted to the Donor Who Provided My Medicine”

A patient thanks her donor for her medication and promises that she will take all her medication so that she could go back to her family.

  Hello, my name is MinKyeong Eom (patient’s name changed to protect their privacy), I am twenty-seven years old. I wanted to have a happy family, so I married early. Soon after I got married, I started to feel very sick. I thought the pain was because I was tired in my new role as a wife, so I just accepted it. Soon I became pregnant and had a child. Still, I felt sick and was not improving. I kept losing weight and started to cough. I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and I ended up in this treatment center. My three-year-old son and my husband wait for me at home. I was most concerned about my child after I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Thankfully, the disease hasn’t spread to my child or my husband. I have now been at this treatment center for one year. Fortunately, I have been able… Read More ►

Your Kindness Reaches Many…

Son risking his life to save his father who has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

A recent patient encounter reminded me just how many lives are uplifted when we are able to serve and save the life of one North Korean patient suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). A father and son stood out in the crowd of people who flocked to one of our treatment centers. The son was carrying his emaciated father on his back and was waiting patiently in line to have him tested for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. …We asked the young man, “Aren’t you concerned that you will catch tuberculosis from your father?”  He answered calmly, looking at his father with eyes full of love, worry and fear, “I’m willing to take that risk.” Time and time again we see the love and devotion shared by family and friends of the people fighting this deadly disease.   We also see the sacrifice and devastation.   When you join EugeneBell, a faith based Korean charity, in support of a patient… Read More ►

EugeneBell Medical Director Leads Seoul Conference on MDR-TB

Dr. Linton speaks at MDR-TB conference in Seoul

Late last month, Dr. Stephen Linton, Chairman and Dr. KJ Seung, medical director for the North Korean charity Eugene Bell Foundation, spoke about the successes achieved in the Foundation’s MDR-TB treatment program in North Korea. During the seminar in Seoul, tuberculosis experts learned about the latest improvement in treatment outcomes among EugeneBell patients and how best practices from North Korea might even benefit treatment of South Korean TB patients. Yonhap News carried a report on the presentation: “Every year the cure rate for North Koreans with tuberculosis is improving” Published May 20, 2014 Eugene Bell Foundation Medical Director Dr. KJ Seung speaks on May 20th in Seoul at a seminar entitled “The Past, Present, and Future of Foreign Aid for Tuberculosis in North Korea”. At the seminar, Dr. Seung explained the Foundation’s MDR-TB treatment program to a panel of experts. On May 20th the Eugene Bell Foundation, a North Korean… Read More ►