Strengthening local government’s capacity on public health

Health: More than 35 officials, including dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) chairpersons, cultural, gewog administrative and planning officers, and multi-sectoral task force (MSTF) and community-based support system (CBSS) members from Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa, Bumthang and Wangdue are attending a health workshop in Wangdue.

The two-day consultative meeting, according to health officials, was to strengthen and foster local government collaboration and partnership in main-streaming health promotion activities, MSTF and CBSS activities into local government plans for the 12th Plan.

Department of Public Health’s chief programme officer for the health promotion division, Dorji Phub, said the workshop is being specifically held to identify and prioritise dzongkhag specific priority public health and social issues, and to develop sustainable dzongkhag health promotion action plans.

The participants were sensitised on domestic violence, suicide prevention, reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, and gender based violence and how it can impact community vitality and harmony.

Dorji Phub said the respective DT chairpersons after returning to their dzongkhags would have to call a day-long dzongkhag tshogdu and sensitise all local leaders about public health and social issues.

A senior programme officer with the health promotion division, Thinley Zangmo, said for that for the 12th plan, the Gross National Happiness Commission will equally divide the budget between the central and local government. “In the past 80 percent of the budget is allocated with the central government and only 20 percent for the local government.”

This workshop is, therefore, expected to empower local governments through provision of greater financial resources, planning, administrative responsibility and authority.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangude

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