Lhakpa Quendren

More than 200 people in Dadgari, Assam avail of the free health care services at the screening camp held on November 11.

Bhutan India Friendship Association (BIFA) Gelephu Chapter, in collaboration with Hastisar Motorcycle Club in Assam, organised the screening camp in Datgari.

People living within a 35km radius of the Dadgari region availed themselves of the various health services, with 80 people screened for malaria, all testing negative.

This initiative, a first of its kind, is a tribute to the 68th Birth Anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, who founded BIFA in 2004. The health screening will now be an annual event.

BIFA’s Secretary-General, Dawa Penjor, said, “Many people from Dadgari visit Gelephu hospital, but some are unable to come due to nominal fees associated with the services.”

A member of Hastisar Motorcycle Club, Robin Sunar, said, “We have to travel to Gelephu hospital for medical examinations during emergencies. The residents of Hatisar would appreciate it if we occasionally receive such facilities.”

The Central Regional Referral Hospital (CRRH) in Gelephu deployed 25 healthcare workers, including four medical doctors and a Drungtsho.

The health services included medical consultation, eye check-ups, screening for non-communicable diseases and malaria, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) services, traditional medicine services, and dispensing of basic medicines.

CRRH’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Choeda Gyaltshen, said that the initiative will contribute to Bhutan’s goal of eliminating malaria by 2025. He added that the golden needle therapy (serkhap) service was also available during the screening.

Besides improving the health and well-being of the people in neighbouring towns, Dawa Penjor said, the initiative is expected to further strengthen the social, cultural, and economic ties at the grassroots level between the two nations.

Officials from the Vector-borne Disease Control Programme, Gelephu also participated in the programme for cross-border malaria collaboration.