Korea, Democratic People's Republic of (DPRK) - Health



The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for all national health services, including disease prevention and sanitation. All of the population had access to health care in 1993. As of 1999, estimated immunization rates for children up to one year old were as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 37%, and measles, 34%. Polio has been nearly eradicated; in 1995 there were only seven cases. In 1999, there were three doctors per 1,000 people. In 1990–94, there were 13.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Western medicine is used alongside traditional Eastern medicine (tonguihak). In 1997, there were 176 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. Cancer is now the leading cause of death, followed by heart disease and hypertension.

The total fertility rate has decreased from 5.8 in 1960 to 2.1 children per woman in her childbearing years, as of 2000. Average life expectancy in 1999 was 70.1 years for both men and women. The infant mortality rate was 25.5 per 1,000 in 1999 and the general mortality rate was 6.9 per 1,000 people. In 1999 the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was less than 0.01 per 100 adults.

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