In alignment with the overall objective of the United Nations Strategic Framework and with due consideration to Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) for the Development of the Health Sector in DPR Korea, the Health Sector Working Group focuses on mobilizing and coordinating national and international resources in support of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Group focuses on social development with highlight on the most urgent need to strengthen health system of DPR Korea.
The Ministry of Public Health recognizes the increasingly complex health landscape. There is a need for all stakeholders to broaden its focus to work more closely with non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and others implementing the strategic priorities to harmonize the collective efforts to achieve outcomes spelled out in UNSF.
According to the 2014 Social and Demographic Health Survey (SDHS) supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), significant progress has been achieved on a number of key indicators. For example, average life expectancy at birth rose to 72 years in 2014 (68 years for males and 76 years for females) from 69.3 in 2008. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined over the same period, with the most up-to-date survey data indicating 66 per 100,000 live births, down from 87 in 2008, as well as the infant mortality ratio (IMR) down to 14 per 1,000 live births, from 23 in 2008.
While some improvements have been made, the quality of care and services in many health facilities still do not meet acceptable international standards. Availability of essential drugs, medical products and life-saving equipment are limited at most levels, posing a key constraint for health services.