Health: Health officials in Trongsa are educating the people of Tshangkha and Tangsibji chiwogs about their vulnerability to different diseases as the communities grow with the construction of Tangsibji Hydro Energy Ltd (THyE).

Officials said that health problems occurred in project areas like Punatsangchhu and Mangdechhu. “Tangsibji is not an exception,” said Trongsa’s health officer, Dolay Tshering. He said that arrival of more people in the gewog means more activities, and thus, more possibilities of health risks.

Besides sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS, diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis could become a problem in the chiwogs.

Health Counsellor with Kingarabten Health Information Service Centre, Pema Tenzin, said there is no way to restrict sexual intercourse. “Still, we are here to help people engage in safe sexual behaviours.”

But the health advice more or less put the people to sleep. As Pema Tenzin’s presentation rolled on and graphic images of male and female organs infected with Gonorrhoea and Syphilis filled the screen, people laughed and made light of them.

Prophylactic sheath and pamphlets with disease information were distributed. Pema Tenzin said using condoms and being faithful to one’s spouses are among the best precautions from sexually transmitted infections.

“Diseases such as these must be treated or cured early,” said Pema Tenzin. Health officials explained the signs and symptoms of different diseases and their prevention and treatment.

Sector heads from the dzongkhag and forest officials also launched their own awareness programmes like waste management and forestry-related issues.

People taking part in the awareness programme found the initiative educative. The campaign has made them aware of the dangers of influx of different people to their villages. “I must caution my children at home,” an elderly man said.

The awareness programme was held in Tshangkha Central School. The same programme was also conducted  at Chendebji.

Environment officer of THyE, Thinley, said the purpose of conducting the awareness programme was to promote community-based management as more people will be flowing in.

Nima Wangdi | Tshangkha