Staff reporter Ham Kwang Hyok had an interview with Kim Kwang Hyok, department director of the Pyongyang Municipal People’s Committee, in the run-up to Child Health Day.
Ham : I think protection of children’s health poses itself as an important issue which is directly related to the future destiny of a country and nation.
Kim : You are right. How to bring up children, the future of the country, is a very important matter which decides the rise and fall of a country.
Our country adopted the Law of the DPRK on the Nursing and Upbringing of Children, the Law of the DPRK on Public Health and others to provide a legal guarantee for protecting and promoting children’s health, and takes every possible measure to this end. It also set May 20 and November 20 as Child Health Day, and conducts various medical service activities on those occasions every year for the sake of their health.
Ham : I also think that preventive medical care by means of vaccination plays an important role in protecting children’s health.
Kim : The basis of health is formed in one’s young days, when children’s spiritual functions and physical growth are in full vigour. Therefore, we should direct efforts to preventing diseases from the first days after birth so as to protect their health.
Last April, WHO, UNICEF and other international organizations issued a joint statement, expressing serious concern over the actual conditions of vaccination against infectious diseases throughout the world. Vaccination has not been carried out properly in many countries and regions, with the result that 228 million people are in danger of being infected with diseases like measles, yellow fever and polio, the majority of whom are children, the statement noted.
As you see, vaccination serves as a crucial issue for protecting people from life-threatening and widespread diseases, particularly for the promotion of children’s health.
All the children in our country are vaccinated against various kinds of diseases at the state’s expense. They get first vaccination within 24 hours after birth and many other vaccinations against such various diseases as measles, pneumonia and influenza. They have their own healthcare cards and vaccination cards which record health conditions in detail like their illnesses, medical checkups and treatment, vaccination, etc. from birth up to now. They get regular vaccinations from birth to adulthood on dozens of occasions. Medical service establishments, including the Okryu Children’s Hospital and other children’s hospitals in each province, and disease-prevention institutions at all levels take care of children’s health by channeling efforts into preventing and curing diseases.
Ham : The work of upbringing and educating children is closely linked with the protection of their health, I think.
Kim : The country regards it as the most important of the state affairs to provide more improved conditions for raising children.
The Third Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea held in June this year discussed as an important agenda item the issue of improving the Party’s childcare policy, and established it as a policy of the WPK to supply all the children across the country with dairy products and other nutritious foods at the state’s expense.
Nurseries, kindergartens, primary, junior and senior middle schools, baby homes, orphanages and primary and middle schools for orphans have been built splendidly in different parts of the country to provide children with a living environment which agree with their feelings and conditions for upbringing and educating them.
All the children in our country are now growing healthily in such a good environment from their childhood amid nationwide concern and assistance.