Former Health Minister honored
WHO South-East Asia Region has conferred the Excellence in Public Health awards to Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup , former health minister for taking path-breaking interventions that helped improve the health and well-being of people in Bhutan. The awards was presented by the Regional Director for WHO South – East Asia Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh at the side lines of the sixty-eighth session of the Regional Committee meeting held from 7-11 September , 2015 at Dilli , Timnor – Leste.
Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup, has been recognized for setting up the Bhutan Health Trust Fund, as the Director General of Health Services, to fund vaccines and essential drugs.
“The award is an appreciation and acknowledgement of their significant contributions to health care services,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said while presenting the award. The award comprises of a citation and a plaque.
“In recognition of his vision and his tireless pursuit to ensure the good heath of his people, the WHO deems it an honor to acknowledge, with deep appreciation, the outstanding contrition of H.E. Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup to sustainable health care in the Kingdom of Bhutan “reads the citation awarded to Lyonpo.
Lyonpo Sangey Ngedup, who became the Director General Health Services in 1992 and the Minister for Health and Education in 1998, brought unprecedented development in the health sector, both quantitatively and qualitatively. His most important contribution was the Bhutan Health Trust Fund (BHTF), set up to ensure continued funding of two critical components of health services – vaccines and essential drugs. To raise support and funds for BHTF, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup travelled 560 kms on foot from Trashigang to Thimphu and also visited several other countries to meet potential donors and funders. Today, health contributions deducted from the salary of all employees in Bhutan are channeled through BHTF, making it large enough and sustainable to guarantee the availability of all vaccines and essential drugs.
During award ceremony Lyonpo, said that the award truly belongs to His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan for his selfless farsighted leadership and guidance and also to all the health workers of Bhutan who have worked tirelessly. I am accepting the award on their behalf.
He also said I think its moment of pride for Bhutan and all Bhutanese. It is also an inspiration for all our health family members to look up to.
The WHO awards were initiated last year to recognize public health professionals or institution/ programme, whose work had resulted in far-reaching implications and gains. The first recipients of this award were Ms Saima Hossain of Bangladesh for her efforts to put autism on the global agenda, and the Timor-Leste Malaria Control Programme.
Health Pioneer: Former Timor Leste president Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao , WHO SEA’s regional director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh and Former Health Minister Lyonpo Sangey Ngedup has won the Excellence in Public Health Award from the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region for their break through work in improving the health and well-being of their people at the award function in Timor Leste ( Picture courtesy : Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk)