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South Korean President, Park Geun-hye (photo courtesy of Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

South Korea to help countries fight infectious diseases

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has today pledged $100 million to aid poor countries in their fight against infectious diseases. The support will begin next year, and will help countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Cambodia.

The proposed scheme by Park is aimed to assist 13 struggling countries overall. In a statement in a welcoming dinner for delegates of the Global Health Security Agenda, Park stated that “South Korea will make its utmost effort to free people in those countries from the threat of infectious diseases,”.

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This commitment underscored South Korea’s effort to join 44 other countries in the Health Summit, including America, in helping countries battle preventable infectious diseases.

The Global Health Summit launched last year and its first meeting was held in Washington D.C.. This year, the summit is being held in South Korean capital, Seoul, the perfect foil for Park to announce her plans.

Cleaners in a subway carriage during the MERS outbreak that killed 36 (photo courtesy of Yonhap/AFP/Getty Images)

Cleaners in a subway carriage during the MERS outbreak that killed 36 (photo courtesy of Yonhap/AFP/Getty Images)

Park also made reference to the difficulty that South Korea had in combating Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, earlier this year. The epidemic caused the death of 36 people, and panic over the virus cause the economy to fall into a downturn, pausing growth in the Asia’s fourth largest economic power.

Park stated that “New infectious diseases may threaten mankind in the future, we will never yield to them,”, impressing her belief that infectious diseases will be well fought using “well-established preventive systems, in which the government, experts and civil society can work together”

The 13 countries who will benefit from the $100 million are Ghana, Ethiopia, Jordan, Cambodia, Laos, Uzbekistan, Peru, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Mali.

 

 

 

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