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Kim Rok Ho

E-mail: kimr@who.int

Dr. Rokho Kim is a physician specialized in family medicine and occupational/environmental medicine. He was a founding member of Korean Physicians for Humanitarian Actions (In-Eui-Hyup) in 1987, known for untiring activities promoting "health as a human right" and advocating for the workers and the urban poor since then in South Korea. In 1988-1991, he served as a medical witness representing the workers and former workers against the pro-industry authoritarian regime at that time in the major political and social disputes on the causal linkage between the occupational hazards and the health outcomes among the exposed workers. One of the historical milestones was the Korean governments' special recognition and compensation of more than 800 victims of carbon disulphide poisoning in Wonjin Rayon, leading to the establishment of the Wonjin Foundation of Victims of Occupational Diseases and the Wonjin Green Hospital in Seoul and Kuri City in South Korea. For his "reverence for life" expressed in his devotion to the workers suffering from occupational diseases, he was awarded "Albert Schweitzer Award" at the commencement of Harvard School of Public Health in 1995.

He taught introductory and advanced courses of environmental and occupational health at the Seoul National University (Assistance Professor) and Harvard School of Public Health (Instructor and Adjunct Assistant Professor), and carried out researches on low-level lead poisoning, measuring lead levels in bone, endocrine disrupting chemicals, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, among others. He also served as founding director of Wonjin Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and Wonjin Green Hospital in 1998-2001. He was Assistant Director of Occupational Health Programme of Massachusetts State Government in 2001-2003, until he joined WHO in 2003, first at the European Regional Office (2003-2012), and then at the Western Pacific Regional Office (2013-).

In WHO-EURO, he was responsible for the development of indicators for Children's Environmental Health, Noise and Health, and Occupational Health. In WHO-WPRO, he is currently responsible for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Emergency and Humanitarian Action (EHA), and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) as Head of Environmental Health Unit in WHO South Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji. He is involved in the development of Occupational Health Programme of WPRO in Manila since 2014.

Dr. Kim graduated from Seoul National University with degrees of MD (1982), MPH (1985), and PhD (1997), and Harvard University with Dr. PH degree (1995) and OEM Residency (1995). He holds two medical specialist boards having completed in the residency trainings in Family Medicine (1986) and Occupational and Environmental Medicine (1997).


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