Lack of ECCD facilitators and medical units in remote places

During the question and hour session in the National Assembly yesterday, the Member of Parliament of the Sombaykha constituency, Dorjee Wangmo, questioned the Ministers of Health and Education respectively on the lack of ECCD facilitators, lack of medical staff, closure of Manam Primary school and need of Basic Health Centre in Sertena village.

The MP questioned the Minister of Education on lack of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) facilitators and need of Basic Health Centre in Sertena Village.

Regarding the ECCD facilitator, Lyonpo Jai Bir Rai answered that lack of ECCD facilitators is an issue faced by the whole country. Due to lack of budget, recruiting of facilitators have been on hold for a while. However, there have been numerous discussions between RCSC and the ministry.

31 new facilitators will be recruited for the next academic year with 36 non-formal education teachers being trained to facilitate the ECCDs as well. Another 55 teachers have also been permitted by RCSC to be recruited. Therefore, by the next academic year, Lyonpo stated that there will be enough ECCD facilitators in the country.

Regarding the need for a sub-post in Sertena village, Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo shared that construction of health infrastructure is based on the standards established by the Ministry of Health, which take into account factors like the catchment area’s population, the distance to the closest facility of the same or higher level, the rate of poverty, the availability of land for construction, the location of the proposed facility, and the presence of other sector facilities (RNR, Schools, etc.) in the area.

She also stated that Sertena village, which has 54 homes and 320 residents, is 60 km from Ngatsena PHC, which has one HA and one Menpa, and is situated two hours’ drive from Denchukha PHC in Samtse. The Ngatsena PHC provides monthly services (such as ANC, PNC, immunizations, and medication refills) to Sertena community through Outreach Clinics (ORC). Ambulance services stationed in Dorokha BHU I under Samtse offer emergency medical care. However, the ministry will assess the need in the 13th five-year plan.

The question from MP of Khamdang-Ramjar constituency, Karma Gyeltshen, was on lack of staff in the sub post.

Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo shared that the ministry faces challenges in terms of budget and human resources. To curb this issue, the Faculty of Nursing has increased its intake of nursing students, and has asked private schools to increase its intake by a 100 percent. Every sup post has only one medical staff and highlighted that service is more important.

With regards to the question on closure of Manam primary school under Toedtsho Gewog which has inconvenienced the students and people, Lyonpo answered stating that reopening depends on the need of the community and the adequate number of students’ enrolment.

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