Content » Vol 50, Issue 4

Special report

Situation analysis of rehabilitation service to support the national disability and rehabilitation plan in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea

Boya Nugraha, Christoph Gutenbrunner
Rehabilitation Medicine, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany. E-mail: boya.nugraha@gmail.com

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2305

Abstract

Objective: In 2013, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD). Since the concept of rehabilitation services in the DPRK did not meet international standards, the government, through the Korean Federation for Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) and Munsu Rehabilitation Hospital (MRH), set up a technical consultation with external experts.
Methods: Two rounds of consultations were performed, in August 2016 and March 2017, with available methodology, as used in previous consultation processes, but excluding site visits. The consultations started by collecting available data and holding workshops with representatives from the KFPD and the MRH. The results are listed as recommendations for the improvement of health-related rehabilitation services in the DPRK. The results were further developed by KFPD into a draft National Strategy and Action Plan on Comprehensive Rehabilitation (NSAPCR) 2017–2020. The draft was discussed with external experts for further improvement prior to discussion with the government.
Results and discussion: Overall, the consultation processes was successful, despite the limitation of not making site visits. Recent developments in the DPRK include ratification of the UN-CRPD in December 2016. The authors hope that the NSAPCR can be implemented successfully, leading to improved quality of life for people with disabilities in the DPRK.

Lay Abstract

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) signed the United Nation-Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (UN-CRPD) in 2013. However, the concept of rehabilitation services in the country is not reaching international standards. Therefore, the DPRK government, through Korean Federation of Person with Disabled (KFPD) and Munsu Rehabilitation Hospital (MRH) initiated a technical consultancy to develop a National Disability, Health and Rehabilitation Plan (NDHRP) with external experts. The project was based on the evaluation of the current situation of people with disabilities and the rehabilitation system in DPRK and consultations with representatives from KFPD and MRH, without visiting rehabilitation units and other rehabilitation services in the country. Results were listed as recommendations for improvement of health-related rehabilitation services in the country. Collected data and results were further developed by KFPD into a draft of National Strategy and Action Plan on Comprehensive Rehabilitation (NSAPCR): 2017-2020. The draft was discussed with the external experts for further improvement before discussing with their government. The consultation processes could be seen overall successful, despite of site visits were not possible which can be seen as a limitation. Recent development in the country includes the ratification of UN-CRPD in December 2016. The authors hope that the NDHRP, and the NSAPCR repectively, can be implemented successfully and lead to a better quality of life for people with disability in DPRK.

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