South Koreans on average outlive North Koreans by some 12 years, partly because North Korea’s high infant mortality rate is about seven times higher than the South’s, according to South Korean government data.
Data released by Statistics Korea placed life expectancy rate for South Koreans at 78.2 years for men and 85 years for women. In comparison, the rate for North Korean men was 66 years and 72.7 years for women.
The infant mortality rate, one of the biggest reasons behind the life expectancy disparity, was measured at 22.0 deaths of infants under age 1 per 1,000 live births in North Korea, a figure 7.6 times higher than in the South.
According to the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare’s 2013 data, less than 10 percent of North Korean obstetricians and gynecologists have been trained in newborn care. Family doctors in small regional clinics are not trained in emergency obstetric and newborn care, childbirth or gynecology.
Poor sterilization of medical equipment also leads to infection of patients in North Korean medical facilities, data showed. In the country, 15 percent of women who died due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth died from sepsis, a whole-body inflammation caused by an infection.
This entry was posted in Humanitarian Aid and Relief by Grant Montgomery.