Eugene Bell Foundation to refocus and expand services to North Korea in 2003

The Eugene Bell Foundation (EBF), a humanitarian relief organization that has specialized in providing medical assistance to North Korea since 1995, will expand and refocus its operations in the new year according to its Chairman, Dr. Stephen W. Linton who has just returned from a visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The recent journey was the EBF's final trip of 2002 to North Korea.
During the course of this recent trip, Dr. Stephen Linton and Dr. John Linton, visited tuberculosis treatment facilities and a children's hospital from November 30 through December 7 along the northwest coast, where they dropped-off medical supplies and conducted checks to make certain that medical assistance was being administered in accordance to previously agreed upon arrangements.

Additionally, while in Pyongyang, the Lintons held a series of meetings with government officials to discuss assistance for 2003. In these meetings, North Korea's Ministry of Public Health formally asked the Eugene Bell Foundation to expand its "Partner Package Program" to include local hospitals as well as tuberculosis hospitals and care centers. (The "Partner Package Program," now in its third year, provides a steady stream of essential medicines, diagnostic equipment, supplies, and other assistance to approximately 60 of North Korea's 80 tuberculosis treatments facilities.)

These recent changes mean that EugeneBell's work will now be focused, primarily, in the northwestern areas where the Ministry of Public Health hopes to develop into a model community-based tuberculosis program with EugeneBell help.

Dr. Stephen Linton noted that, despite recent strains between North Korea and the United States, these new opportunities will permit Eugene Bell Foundation's programs to be even more efficient and more open than ever before.