Senior officials from health ministry met with the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Bhutan, Jishnu Roy Choudhury, yesterday to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for the gift of a year’s supply of essential medicines to the health ministry.

The event is in continuation of the symbolic handing over ceremony of 258 essential medicines held in Dhaka on July 23 where Bhutan’s Ambassador to Bangladesh, Sonam T Rabgye, on behalf of the government, received a package of essential medicine from Bangladesh’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mohammed Nasim, in Bangladesh

The consignment of medicines will be delivered to the health ministry in three phases in September, October and November this year.

Officiating director general of Department of Medical Services, Jamtsho, this signified a testimony of friendship between Bhutan and Bangladesh.

He said the donation of the essential medicines was also in line with the national policy of the national essential medicines which would be distributed to the health centres across the country. “This will also be in line, in terms of ensuring our drug supply of about 95 percent in the health facilities all the time.”

“This token of friendship will be remembered by the Bhutanese in many years to come,” Jamtsho said.

While thanking the people and the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, health ministry’s director general, Kuenga Tshering, said the donation was committed by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her state visit to Bhutan last year.

Kuenga Tshering said the donation of 258 items out of 429 items in the National Essential Medicines List of Bhutan 2016 is very significant for the government.

WHO defines essential medicines as those medicines that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population. They should, therefore, be available at all times in adequate amounts and in appropriate dosage forms, at a price the community can afford.

“This generous donation will not only help save lives and improve quality of health of Bhutanese people but also help ease Bhutan Health Trust Fund of some resources which can be kept aside for future procurement of essential medicines,” Kuenga Tshering said. “This gesture is an excellent symbol of proof of partnership between our two great nations.”

Ambassador Jishnu Roy Choudhury said Bhutan supported Bangladesh during the country’s difficult days and the friendship between the two countries developed over the years. “We are really glad that we could support Bhutan by providing the essential medicines.”

Dechen Tshomo