Delivering for children in DPR Korea

UNICEF-supported Child Health Days happen in DPR Korea twice a year with one simple aim: to deliver potentially life-saving interventions to 1.7 million children under 5.

A girl is screened to identify her nutritional status and see if she needs to be referred for additional assistance
UNICEF/2017/Simon NazerA girl is screened to identify her nutritional status and see if she needs to be referred for additional assistance

Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development. Sadly, nearly a third of children under 5 in DPR Korea suffer from stunting while around 200,000 are moderately or severely malnourished.

“The right health and nutrition early on builds the foundations for life. Child Health Days represent a very good way of delivering important health and nutrition interventions,” said UNICEF DPR Korea Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.

“But much more support is needed to help children throughout the country to not only survive, but also thrive.”

Nurseries, hospitals and health centres up and down the country are supported by UNICEF on Child Health Day twice a year to both check children’s health and give them vitamins and supplements to help improve their health and nutrition.

Low cost, high impact interventions

UNICEF teams this year visited sites in Sariwon city and Nampo county with Government partners, ambassadors and the Pyongyang International Women’s Association to see for themselves how UNICEF and partners are delivering for children.

The teams saw children being screened for malnutrition and, if required, referred for treatment, given deworming and Vitamin A tablets, and provided with two months’ worth of micronutrient sprinkles to fortify their food at home with minerals and nutrients. These are relatively small, cost-effective actions that can have a huge impact on the lives of young children.

A child receives Vitamin A supplements, which is shown to have a large impact on child survival
UNICEF/2017/Simon NazerA child receives Vitamin A supplements, which is shown to have a large impact on child survival

Much has been done over the last two decades to improve the health of children in DPR Korea and, with UNICEF’s support, the country has adopted, implemented and scaled-up many low-cost high-impact nutrition-specific interventions.

UNICEF this year aims to reach around 60,000 children with severe acute malnutrition, 700,000 pregnant women with micronutrient supplements, and 300,000 children with life-saving medicines, among others.

Parents and children queue outside the district hospital in Sariwon City
UNICEF/2017/Simon NazerParents and children queue outside the district hospital in Sariwon City

In total around 4.9 million children are in need of support and with only around $4 million of the required $16.5 million for humanitarian assistance raised so far, much more is needed to ensure every child in need of assistance can be reached.

See UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal in DPR Korea for more information: www.unicef.org/appeals/dprk.html

Mothers and children outside the district hospital in Sariwon City
UNICEF/2017/Simon NazerMothers and children outside the district hospital in Sariwon City

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