Dong-A ST said Wednesday that it has signed sponsorship agreement with Eugene Bell Foundation, a local charity, to supply tuberculosis drugs to North Korea.
|Dong-A ST CEO Eom Dae-sig (right) and Eugene Bell Foundation President Stephen W. Linton celebrate their sponsorship agreement at the foundation’s office in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday.|
Under this agreement, Dong-A ST will supply Closerin, an anti-tuberculosis drug for treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients, to the Eugene Bell Foundation, which will deliver the medications to North Korean people with the disease.
Eugene Bell Foundation is a medical support organization, striving to eliminate tuberculosis in North Korea. The group started its aid efforts by providing North Koreans with food aid in 1995. In 1997, the foundation changed its goal to eradicating tuberculosis in the country and has focused on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis since 2008.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is tuberculosis resistant to common tuberculosis drugs. The patient has an average life expectancy of five years after diagnosis, and if the patient does not receive treatment, the disease can infect others.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)'s joint report on North Korean tuberculosis control in 2017, more than 8,000 multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases are developing in North Korea every year.
“I hope this sponsorship of the anti-tuberculosis drug will serve as a hope for the people living with tuberculosis in North Korea,” a Dong-A ST official said.