The community credits HA Sanjeev Subba for his contribution in reducing sanitation related diseases

Sometime in 2014, words started doing round that the health assistant (HA) of Sinchula basic health unit (BHU) in Darla, Chukha would be transferred.

The people of Sichula appealed to the Chukha dzongkhag administration to retain the HA there. The people, including the village lam, appealed in writing to the dzongkhag administration. Their request was approved.

Today, the people say that the HA has not only transformed health services in the community but also guided them.

A resident, Tashi, said that HA Sanjeev Subba, has played an important role in their lives. “Besides taking care of the patients, he also emphasised sanitation and agriculture in the locality.”

Tall and healthy sugarcanes surround the grade II BHU, which villagers attribute to the HA’s hard work. Since the BHU’s inauguration in 2008, Sanjeev Subba has given the unit a homely ambience.

An industrious person, the HA has cultivated sugarcane and soft broom around the BHU surrounding. The BHU also has a children’s playroom.

Sanjeev Subba said that the money earned from the sale of the products goes to the BHU welfare, with which he bought a small television set for patients and several kitchen utensils like rice and curry cooker, cups and halogen lights.

With the welfare fund, the BHU’s patient room is carpeted with linoleum and a stonewall was also constructed.

Sanjeev Subba said that although they cannot make much profit, he intends to make the BHU self-sustainable.

In 2015, to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the BHU initiated the construction of a stone footpath on a hilltop, a little farther from the BHU to make it a mini-park.

The health officials planted a fig (peepal) and a banyan tree. “The work to complete the hilltop park is still ongoing so that the public could use it in future,” the HA said.

The BHU also constructed a concrete waste bin to segregate degradable waste from rubber, plastics, glasses, tin and sharp objects.

“Taking this as an example, locals have also started constructing such bins,” Sanjeev Subba said.

The HA explained that bins that are dug collect water, where mosquitoes breed. “We are working on preventive healthcare measures.”

He said that there was a drastic drop in sanitation-related diseases in the locality. “We are also encouraging women to do Pap smear.”

In his attempt to boost the local economy, the HA initiated the construction of a vegetable shed along the Manitar-Lhamoizingkha road for farmers to sell their farm produce.

Sanjeev Subba said he loves working in rural areas, as he can see the changes he brings to the lives of people. “This is how I can be worthy of the salary my country pays me.”

51-year-old and has been with the health service for the last 30 years. Prior to his posting in Sinchula, he worked at Tsimasham, Chukha, Rangjung and Trongsa.

Rajesh Rai | Sinchula