Infant mortality and suicide were among the common health indicators at risk in the six western dzongkhags.

Mid-year review of the annual performance agreement of Paro, Haa, Thimphu, Bumthang, Chukha, Gasa, Thimphu, and Phunthsoling thromdes were held yesterday at Paro.

Four of six dzongkhags shared that the target to achieve zero infant mortality rate was at risk.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that infant mortality in the country was not high going by international standards. “However, our country is different and a single case of infant mortality should be a concern. We have to spread advocacy on nutrition and health.”

He added that no cases of maternal mortality in the past six months were recorded within the six dzongkhags. “This should be kept consistent and to do that we should encourage people to deliver their babies in the hospital.”

Chukha with four infant mortality cases reported was the highest, followed by two cases in Paro. Thimphu and Gasa recorded one infant mortality case each.

The six dzongkhags targeted zero infant mortality.

Bumthang and Paro saw achieving zero suicide target as challenging.

Of Paro’s four suicide cases, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that four suicide cases in six months was alarming. “We need to plan on making separate plans for Paro to improve the situation.”

In the past six months, there was one suicide case in Bumthang.

Of 64 indicators for Bumthang dzongkhag, 10 were reported achieved. They included increased production of certain crops, dairy products, livestock, and increased percentage of households with water, electricity and toilets. Bumthang had one case of alcohol-related death.

Chukha Dzongdag Minjur Dorji said that Chukha achieved 12 of 81 indicators.

He added that success indicators included 100 percent immunisation coverage, meeting the targeted road length, learning outcome of class III and VI, and increased fish production.

Gasa achieved 14 of the 59 indicators.

“Target to achieve 80 percent households with electricity and 100 percent households with mobile connectivity has been achieved,” said Gasa Dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul.

Haa dzongkhag reported having achieved 14 of the 56 indicators without any risk indicator. Achievement included meeting targeted milk, egg and vegetable productions, and improved quality of education.

Paro had achieved 3 of the 52 indicators, which included meeting targeted tourists number and locals registering for bank accounts.

Thimphu achieved 8 of 40 indicators, including food productions and improved quality of education.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that one of the thromde’s indicator to provide 24-hour running water was at risk. “Thromde has achieved indicators to maintain two bus stops, tree plantation and constructing functional street lights.”

Phuntsholing Thromde reported having achieved slope stabilisation work, improved learning outcomes of students of class III and VI.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that the achieved targets would be verified.

Phurpa Lhamo