Thursday, July 15, 2010

UN: Fix This

North Korea's healthcare is a horror, report says
Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, 7/15/10

"Amnesty International finds that the country lacks sterilized needles, clean water and medicine. Patients undergo painful surgery without anesthesia, the human rights group says."
North Korea spent under $1 per capita on healthcare, the lowest in the world. The global average was $716 per capita.

The collapse of the healthcare system compounds the misery of a population that is chronically malnourished and suffering from digestive problems caused by eating weeds, tree bark, roots, corn husks, cobs and other "substitute" foods.
North Koreans are eating tree bark and corn husks, yet North Korea just leased it's squid beds to the Chinese for cash. Where is the cash going to be spent? According to the JoongAng Daily, it will be used to finance state projects.
North Korea leases out its squid beds to China
JoonAng Daily, 7/15/10

North Korea has been hungry for more cash to finance state projects, including a so-called Pyongyang modernization project that involves paving major roads, upgrading railway networks and refurbishing urban streets.

“Many of the North’s fishing boats are extremely outdated and are experiencing intense fuel oil shortages, while squid prices in China have gone up due to supply shortages,” the official said. “So each side’s interests have been satisfied.”
Why not swap access to the squid beds for a portion of the catch, other foodstuffs, fishing vessels or fuel oil?

Sad, Shocking, Appalling & Unconscionable

More from the Times and the Amnesty International Report.
. . . 47-year-old man interviewed by Amnesty International who also described paying a doctor treating his son for tuberculosis with 10 packs of cigarettes.

. . . her patients had to bring their own bottles if they needed intravenous fluid. Beer bottles were preferred.

. . . people often used illegal drugs, particularly "ice," a highly addictive methamphetamine that is manufactured inside North Korea.

"You do drugs if you have a cold, a stomach ache, for whatever is wrong," said the girl . . .