Move for Health: Invest in Health

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - San­gay Ten­zin

This year the move or health walk sched­uled for the 11th of this month will flag off from Khasadrapchu Mid­dle Sec­ondary school at 8.30 AM and will end at the Thimphu clock tower square. This year the theme for the walk is Move for health; Invest in Health. The main ob­jec­tive for the walk is launch the fi­nanc­ing of Es­sen­tials Drugs to­wards the ful­fill­ment of the man­dates of the Royal Char­ter 2000 f the Bhutan Health Trust Fund and ad­vo­cat­ing and pro­mot­ing healthy life styles to pre­vent ad con­trol ris­ing cost of health care de­liv­ery and en­hance qual­ity life.

The Health Walk Team 2014 led by His Ex­cel­lency, Ly­onchen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay will follow the Khasadrapchu-Thimphu High­way for ap­prox­i­mately 3.15 HRS.

The core of Bhutan’s de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy lies the phys­i­cal and spir­i­tual well-be­ing of its peo­ple within a safe and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment. Thus, an in­vest­ment in the so­cial sec­tor has al­ways been ac­corded with the high­est pri­or­ity. How­ever, the sus­tain­abil­ity of past ac­com­plish­ments and fu­ture ini­tia­tives has be­come a daunt­ing chal­lenge for Bhutan. The key con­cern of the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan is how to en­hance the ac­ces­si­bil­ity and qual­ity of Pri­mary Health Care Ser­vices against ris­ing costs and com­pet­ing needs. The idea of a Trust Fund pre­sented it­self as a novel and de­pend­able al­ter­na­tive for fi­nanc­ing the pri­or­ity needs of vac­cines, es­sen­tial drugs and nee­dles & sy­ringes. There­fore, the Bhutan Health Trust Fund (BHTF) was es­tab­lished in 2000 un­der the Royal Char­ter to en­sure con­tin­ued and timely sup­ply of vac­cines and es­sen­tial drugs, which are cru­cial com­po­nents of Pri­mary Health Care. A suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tional­iza­tion fur­ther en­vis­ages cov­er­ing com­po­nents such as re­pro­duc­tive health and other es­sen­tial health ser­vices.

Growth of BHTF funds had almost come to a stand­still by 2002 and in or­der to re­vive the ac­tiv­ity, the then Min­is­ter of Health, Ly­onpo San­gay Ngedup came up with the in­ge­nious idea of a spon­sored walk from Trashigang to Thimphu cov­er­ing a dis­tance of 560 Kms over a pe­riod of 15½ days. The first Walk took place from 25th Septem­ber to 10th Oc­to­ber 2002 and was a huge suc­cess both in terms of rais­ing aware­ness on health and funds for the BHTF. The Walk had raised almost USD 2 mil­lion bring­ing the BHTF a cou­ple of steps closer to achiev­ing its ini­tial tar­get.

The shorter ver­sion of the “Move for Health Walk” was an ini­tia­tive of the Health Min­is­ter, Ly­onpo Tandin Wangchuk to re­vive in­ter­est in BHTF and raise funds for it, and was con­ducted again from 19-20 Oc­to­ber 2013 .This shorter ver­sion of the Walk in­volved 1½ days walk­ing from Wang­due to Thimphu with the dual aim of rais­ing funds for BHTF while at the same time pro­mote healthy life style.

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