World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative, Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus handed over two medical camp kits to the health secretary Dr Ugen Dophu at the health ministry in Thimphu yesterday.

According to a WHO press release, the kits will be placed in the eastern dzongkhag hospitals as part of the Health Sector Emergency Preparedness Project, jointly supported by the European Union and WHO.

Dr Ugen Dophu acknowledged the contribution to emergency preparedness and response in Bhutan.

“Bhutan is prone to disasters, in particular earthquakes, where Bhutan is classified as Zone four area,” Dr Ugen Dophu said. “The kits will allow us to continue to provide services at least at the referral hospitals, even when facilities are severely damaged.”

Medical camp kits are temporary health facility structures that ensure the continuity of primary healthcare services until damaged health facilities are restored in case of major emergencies.

WHO South-East Asia region office designed the medical camp kits to provide in- and out-patient services. It also has provisions for male and female wards and, staff and consultation rooms, according to the press release.

The temporary facilities are solar-powered, contain water and sanitation facilities and can be assembled within 24 hours in the event of emergencies.

WHO experts trained about 60 participants on the appropriate way to set-up a medical camp kits in a timely and secure manner in the event of emergencies last November. The participants were from Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Body Guards, DeSuups, Thimphu thromde, Department of Disaster Management, emergency medical services division and staff from three regional referral hospitals in the country.

The second training will be held next month in Mongar.

Health Sector Emergency Preparedness Project includes procurement of materials, assessment of hospital services and hospital building structures, development of emergency plans and guidelines and building of in-country capacity on emergency preparedness and response.

The three medical camp kits that were given in the past years are stationed in the referral hospitals.

Staff Reporter