WHO Hands over Two Medical Camp Kits to Ministry of Health

Dr Ugen Dophu, Secretary, MoH with Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WR a.i.

On Wednesday 12 April 2017, Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO Representative a.i., handed over two Medical Camp Kits (MCKs) to the Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ugen Dophu, in a ceremony at the Ministry of Health in Thimphu.

The two MCKs supplement one MCK that was already handed over in November 2016. The three MCKs are to be stationed one each at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu; the Central Regional Referral Hospital (CRRH) in Gelephu and the Eastern Regional Referral Hospital (ERRH) in Mongar.

The Secretary of Health, Dr Ugen Dophu, acknowledged with thanks the contribution to emergency preparedness and response in Bhutan, saying, “Bhutan is very prone to disasters, in particular earthquakes, where Bhutan is classified in the Zone 4 area. The MCKs will allow us to continue to provide services at least at the referral hospitals, even when the facilities are severely damaged.”

MCKs are temporary health facility structures that ensure the continuity of primary healthcare services until damaged health facilities are restored in the case of major emergencies. MCKs are designed to provide in-patient and out-patient services and have provisions for male and female wards, as well as for staff and consultation rooms. The temporary facilities are solar-powered and contain water and sanitation accommodations, and can be assembled rapidly in the event of emergencies.

In November of 2016, a total of 60 participants from the Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Body Guards, De-Suungs, Thimphu Thromde, Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Emergency Medical Services Division of the Ministry of Health and staff from all three regional referral hospitals underwent a training in Thimphu by experts from WHO on the appropriate way to set-up an MCK in a timely and secure fashion in the event of emergencies.

The MCKs form part of a larger effort in 2016 and 2017 by WHO and the Ministry of Health to better prepare the health sector for emergencies, particularly earthquakes. This includes procurement of materials, assessment of hospital services and hospital building structures, development of emergency plans and building of in-country capacity on emergency preparedness and response.