One day recently, a 30-year-old woman from North Hamgyong, North Korea unexpectedly appeared at one of LFNKR’s shelters in China requesting medical assistance.
She was suffering from hyperthyroidism, with swollen throat, and in her home city had received a Chinese remedy for her illness. That medicine, however, had worsened her symptoms.
When she arrived at our shelter, the local Chinese doctor working there diagnosed her and supplied the correct medicine. The woman was instructed to return in six months for a follow up exam. She said that she might or might not be able to return, but that the shelter was her only hope, since the proper medicine is not available in North Korea.
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The photo shows her belly carrying the marks of moxa burns on her skin (moxibustion). This is the standard treatment in North Korea, because of the widespread lack of medicines.
According to the lady, all the women in her village suffer from the same thyroid condition.