J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2020 Mar;44(1):26-33. 10.11149/jkaoh.2020.44.1.26.

An exploratory study on development policy and the status of oral health care in the North Korea during the Kim Jong-Un era

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea. feeljsh@gwnu.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
Studies on oral health care in North Korea are being pursued in South Korea. However, the covertness of North Korea offers substantial resistance to the access of information from the country, including in the field of oral health care. In this study, we explored North Korea's oral health care policy and its status in the Kim Jong-Un Era.
METHODS
We used existing information from Internet searches and also interviewed three health care professionals who had recently contact with North Korea.
RESULTS
At present, there are four development policies of oral health care in North Korea: expansion of dental institutions and resource support, strengthening the prevention and treatment of dental diseases, improvement of dental prosthetics, and increasing the responsibility and role of the dental workforce. In addition, there has been an increasing interest in children's oral health with the development of a few programs.
CONCLUSIONS
In order to improve overall oral health care, cooperation is required from North Korea in accessing relevant information in the field of children's oral health, dental prosthetics, and dental materials. For this to occur, there should be a preliminary trust building process between North Korea and South Korea as well as access to information from reliable sources.

Keyword

Oral health care; North Korea; Exploratory study
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