…with Nu 1.5M  worth of medical equipment donated

Health: To honour the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, the Bhutan Foundation gifted state-of-the-art medical equipment worth Nu 1.5 million to the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Maternal and Child Clinic yesterday.

Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck, co-chair of the foundation handed over medical equipment to the President of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital yesterday evening.

“All of this has been possible due to the steadfast support of the board, all our supporters and friends of Bhutan,” Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck said. “They have not only supported our programmes financially, but have invested their time, energy and emotions into each of these projects,” Her Majesty added.

“As Bhutan progresses into the 21st century, it is imperative that our people possess the necessary skillsets to enable us to not just survive but thrive.”

The medical equipment includes a Doppler Ultrasonogram, a Photometer for Haemoglobin Estimation, and a Transcutaneous Bilirubinometer.

The instruments are more advanced than those the clinic already has, doctors said. The clinic has only one set each of the instruments.

With the new medical equipment, doctors said waiting time for pregnant mothers would be halved.

“Pregnant women need not wait for more than 30 minutes for consultation at the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Maternal and Child Clinic hereafter,” the head of the family medicine unit of JDWNRH, Dr Pelgay Jamyang said.

The donation of the equipment was made possible with support from the Hoch family. Lisina M Hoch is one of the founders of the Bhutan Foundation and has provided significant support to strengthen Public Health and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the country.

A total of 8,073 ultrasonogram examinations were conducted in 2015, 89 percent for antenatal patients and 11 percent for postnatal patients.

The clinic sees more than 2,000 new cases every year.

The new ultrasonogram has better resolution and reliability, as it provides visuals in colour unlike the black and white version that exits in the clinic.

“The equipment will enhance the quality of care and contribute to the health and wellbeing of our women and children,” president of JDWNRH, Lhab Dorji said.

Dr Pelgay Jamyang said that each pregnant mother has to undergo ultrasound to follow the progress of the baby and also for the safety of the mother.

“The additional equipment will improve on the efficiency of the clinic in delivering better services,” Dr Pelgay Jamyang said.

Ultrasonogram services have been routinely provided to expectant mothers since 2002.

The clinic had to employ the lengthy process of checking the haemoglobin content in blood of the mothers whenever its Haemolglobin Photometer broke down.

“It would at least take half an hour for each individual to process the test without the equipment,” Dr Pelgay Jamyang said. The new Haemoglobin Photometer will help assessing the iron deficiency in pregnant women faster and accurately.

The equipment helps in the early diagnosis of anemia and provides an opportunity to remedy the situation and prevent progression of the condition.

The Photometer is a modern version that will allow quick, valid and reliable estimation of Haemoglobin status.

The Transcutaneous Bilirubinometer (TCB) is handy in determining if newborn babies have contracted jaundice. The hand-held, non-invasive device is used to estimate serum bilirubin in newborn babies.

A total of 1,348 cases of neonatal jaundice cases were reported in 2015.

Unlike the usual physical evaluation, the TCB can provide accurate serum levels. “It can cause brain damage to children if the serum bilirubin exceeds the limit,” the doctor said.

The TCB aids in preventive screening and timely management during the early postnatal period.

“We’d like to thank for the equipment and assure that these will be used properly,” Dr Pelgay Jamyang said. “They’ll go a long way in improving the health of mothers and children of our country.”

The foundation, which is an American not-for-profit organisation, contributes to strategies of conservation of the environment, equitable and sustainable development, good governance, and preservation of culture in Bhutan.

It works in partnership with the Department of Culture, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, and Dhungsel Spa.

Tshering Palden