Medical aid organization to launch site in Seoul

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Medical aid organization to launch site in Seoul

The nonprofit medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (DWB) launched its office in Korea yesterday in order to promote communication in Asia and build partnerships with Korean medical experts, logisticians and donors.

With the support of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Geneva-based organization, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, will begin activities in Seoul and hopes to cooperate with Korean hospitals and universities.

The first head of the Korea office, Emmanuel Goue, who has been with the organization for 13 years, said yesterday at a press conference in central Seoul, “We believe Korea will be a strong partner to DWB, and we know we can find many skilled experts here.” Goue coordinated DWB emergency relief efforts in Japan in the aftermath of the March 2011 tsunami while making preparations in Korea to open its office last year. He further expressed that one of the immediate methods DWB will spread awareness is by holding information sessions with Korean medical students, with one scheduled for Sunday.

Doctors Without Borders, a recipient of the Seoul Peace Prize in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, had 22 Koreans doctors working in the field last year. There are currently four Koreans working for the organization, including three doctors in missions in countries including Zimbabwe and Congo. Of its recent activities in Korea, the organization has provided psychological support for North Korean defectors in the past decade.

Doctors Without Borders provides impartial and independent assistance to over 60 countries and has 27 offices worldwide.

By Sarah Kim []

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