Bhutan Foun­da­tion to sup­port pub­lic health, cul­tural preser­va­tion and emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices

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The for­mal project agree­ments were signed be­tween the Bhutan Foun­da­tion and Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness Com­mis­sion rep­re­sent­ing the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan and three im­ple­ment­ing part­ners was held last Mon­day in Thim­phu.

The agree­ments cov­ered four projects to im­prove Pub­lic Health, Cul­tural Preser­va­tion, and Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices in Bhutan. These projects are com­po­nents of a larger 5- year Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) signed be­tween the Bhutan Foun­da­tion and GNHC in Au­gust 2015. The MoU en­ables the Bhutan Foun­da­tion and the GNHC to co­op­er­ate and ad­vance RGOB’s ef­forts to bring about pos­i­tive change in the lives of the Bhutanese peo­ple.

The four projects will sup­port the Divi­sion for the Con­ser­va­tion of Her­itage Sites (DCHS), Depart­ment of Cul­ture, Mo- HCA for the restora­tion of Dram­etse Lhakhang in Mon­gar, Bhutan. The project pe­riod is ex­pected to be for about seven months un­til De­cem­ber 2016 with fund­ing as­sis­tance from Bhutan foun­da­tion of around NU 24, 00,000. The restora­tion of Dram­etse Lhakhang is an on­go­ing project that has been par­tially funded by the prince clause Fund and the World mon­u­ment fund, through the Bhutan foun­da­tion, with two fund in­stall­ments amount­ing to Nu 3,757,811.48 al­ready re­leased in the past for the de­vel­op­ment of Shabkor or the pe­riph­eral struc­tures sur­round­ing the court­yard, con­sist­ing of class­rooms, res­i­dences and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices. The fi­nal in­stall­ment of Nu. 24, 00,000 will be used for ren­o­va­tion of the Utse along with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the gov­ern­ment.

The sec­ond project will sup­port the Kh­e­sar Gyalpo Univer­sity of Med­i­cal Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) with re­gard to Health Re­search in Bhutan and con­duct health check up for no­mad com­mu­ni­ties. A sum of Nu.3, 356,062 was com­mit­ted to sup­port the two crit­i­cal projects. Out of the to­tal amount, a sum of 3,110,000 will sup­port three key ar­eas of Health Re­search, which in­clude pub­lic­ca­tion of the Bhutan Health Journal (3rd and 4th edi­tion), build­ing ca­pac­ity of lo­cal re­searchers and pro­mot­ing re­search and sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion. By sup­port­ing these main ar­eas, Bhutan foun­da­tion, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with KGUMSB, aims to pro­mote aca­demic ex­cel­lence at the Univer­sity as well as Bhutan through good pub­li­ca­tions and fos­ter qual­ity sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion in Bhutan. The re­main­ing funds of Nu.246, 062 will sup­port the No­mad Health check up in Soe ge­wog un­der Thim­phu District. Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful health cam­paign in 2015 dur­ing the Jo­mol­hari fes­ti­val, Bhutan Foun­da­tion and Fac­ulty of Nurs­ing & Pub­lic Health un­der the Univer­sity will con­tinue phase two of this project, which in­cludes, data col­lec­tion and anal­y­sis. The ob­jec­tive of this project is to ob­tain base­line health sta­tus to iden­tify spe­cific health needs of the com­mu­nity and de­velop holis­tic in­ter­ven­tions.

Fi­nally the foun­da­tion will sup­port the Min­istry of Health for im­prov­ing emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices in Bhutan. The Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices pro­gram is a joint and con­tin­u­ous ef­fort from Bhutan Foun­da­tion and the min­istry of Health to strengthen the ca­pac­ity of health work­ers to pro­vide emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices, build lo­cal train­ing ca­pac­ity on emer­gency care and de­velop trauma man­age­ment sys­tems. The project agree­ment falls un­der um­brella of the Mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing that Bhutan Foun­da­tion has com­mit­ted fund­ing Nu.10, 728,000 over the three year pe­riod to sup­port ac­tiv­i­ties such as ca­pac­ity build­ing of the doc­tors and nurses in the emer­gency ser­vices, train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Bhutanese doc­tors to be in­struc­tors, pro­vide nec­es­sary med­i­cal equip­ment, and es­tab­lish a trauma registry and so on.

The Bhutan foun­da­tion serves the peo­ple of Bhutan in liv­ing and shar­ing the prin­ci­ple of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness. It cher­ishes the val­ues of the Bhutanese in­ten­tion: mea­sur­ing `’hap­pi­ness’’ as the high­est at­tribute of all de­ci­sion-mak­ing and con­trib­ute to strate­gies of con­ser­va­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment, eq­ui­table and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, good gov­er­nance, and preser­va­tion of cul­ture in Bhutan. The Bhutan Foun­da­tion serves as the only Amer­i­can not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that is wholly fo­cused on the ben­e­fit of the coun­try and peo­ple of Bhutan, bridg­ing un­der­stand­ing be­tween our two coun­tries and be­yond.

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