UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, Her Majesty Gyalyum Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, will be traveling across the eastern dzongkhags on a high level advocacy tour on mother and child health, adult and adolescent reproductive health, STI/HIV/AIDS, substance abuse including mental health/suicide and domestic and gender based violence.
The advocacy tour will also comprise public health screening services like BMI, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and STI/HIV along with counseling services.
The month long awareness programme from 8th till 27th is intended to advocate and seek support from local government, community and institutes to embark upon public health and social issues and to review the status of Multi-Sectoral Task Force (MSTF – MoH) and Community Based Support System (CBSS- RENEW) progress. It will also focus on institutionalizing MSTF-CBSS at Dzongkhag, Gewog, Chiwog and Thromde for sustainability.
The issues to be discussed will be based on advocacy and sensitization on priority communicable and non communicable diseases, comprehensive school health program, and advocacy and sensitization on Respect, Educate , Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) and National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and advocacy and sensitization on LHAKSAM.
“Issues will be focused more on the highest number of related cases prevailing in each dzongkag,” said the Head of Health Promotional Division, Dorji Phub. He said studies and research has been done in each dzongkhag and there are many illnesses uniquely affecting the Bhutanese communities leading to preventable deaths and a lower quality of life.
“Additionally, there are large cultural barriers in providing treatment to these communities such as the lack of culturally competent care and social stigmas associated with the illness,” Dorji Phu said. “Advocacy plays a crucial role in removing these barriers and making these issues widely known to make people more informed choices. Therefore, the High Level Advocacy Tour led by Her Majesty is very crucial and important for the health ministry to achieve the Vision ‘A Nation with Best Health’.”
So far the awareness programme has covered eight dzongkags, which started in September 2016 and will be cover the remaining 12 Dzongkhags by end of June this year.
The awareness programme will be conducted in schools, colleges and in public where Her Majesty will be also meeting with the armed force personnel and families and visiting hospitals in all the six eastern dzongkhags.