I came across an article from today that noted that North Korea has finally allowed a Catholic aid organization to have access to pediatric tuberculosis hospitals. As a Global Public Health concentration, I find this extremely interesting and quite important for the people of North Korea.
Tuberculosis is a major problem around the world, yet it does not recieve as much attention as it should due to other more "fashionable" diseases like HIV/AIDS, which gets lots of press (as it should!). However, TB is a major factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS, as a contracting either one of the diseases puts people at a risk of getting the other. The article notes that 10% of the North Korean population is affected by TB, a number which is sharply rising, and that 30% of these people are vaccine resistant, which requires special care and dedication to ensuring a person's health. Meetings were held to discuss a joint effort for TB study and research in Pyongyang, of which both Koreas would run and the Catholic Church would fund.
I think this research facility is a great idea. While politics, economics, and even culture can be seperated by borders, infectious disesases do not recognize political borders. By gathering the support of both Koreas, it will be a successful endeavor to address a pressing issue in global public health.