The Rotary Club (RC) of Thimphu in collaboration with the RC of Taichung East, Taiwan through the global grant handed over a high-tech laser and associated equipment worth Nu10.475 million (M) to health ministry in Thimphu yesterday.

The grant components include acupulse CO2 laser, sinus instrument, sinus scope, inbound training, and outbound training.

RC of Thimphu’s chair of health services, Dr Phub Tshering, said the project was about enhancing the infrastructure to treat head and neck cancers at the national referral hospital. “The main reason for the project was the need to have latest equipment in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) department.”

He said the ENT department not only received the state of the art laser equipment but also received some endoscopic sinus surgery system and instruments used to treat diseases.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo, said that at a time when the ministry was aspiring to provide quality health services, such support would add value to their efforts. “The support will strengthen the ENT department to provide improved access and quality tertiary care services through better and more reliable equipment.”

Lyonpo said the equipment would also help reduce referrals abroad, which was instrumental in sustaining health costs in the long run.

RC Thimphu’s secretary, Yeshey Dorji, said the club’s priority areas were health, education and agriculture. “Until now, the club supported the agriculture sector amounting to Nu 10M.”

Besides helping provide school library, and training to teachers of special needs among others, the club also has a target to install water filters in 120 central schools by 2020, he said.

This was Bhutan’s fourth global grant, he said. “The health sector received the highest grant from the RC Thimphu. Last year, the club donated six dialysis machines worth Nu6.8M. Three months ago emergency equipment worth Nu3.8 million was donated.”

Yeshey Dorji said the support for specialised equipment would help the national referral hospital introduce effective services and enhance skills of health professionals to provide the much-needed tertiary services in the country.

A new project worth Nu3.45M in Chhukha was underway to be implemented in collaboration with the Rotary club of Metro Kuala Lumpur, he said.

RC Thimphu announced that the club was also looking to support another health related project amounting to about Nu7.2M.

The RC Thimphu is the only rotary club in Bhutan, which was formed in April, 2012. The club has 22 members.

Rinchen Zangmo