Samtse celebrates World Health Day

To observe World Health Day, around 500 residents of all ages joined a 10-kilometre run in Samtse today. The run was organised to promote physical activity and raise awareness about non-communicable diseases and other health issues. The Minister of Education and Skills Development, Yeezang De Thapa, graced the event.

The event attracted individuals from different age groups. Participants as young as 13 years old to 66 years old took part in the run.

Winners were awarded prizes, while all participants received certificates acknowledging their participation and support for the cause of health and fitness.

Given the population size and other health parameters, the health ministry and the World Health Organisation country office in Bhutan chose Samtse to mark the event this year.

“As non-communicable diseases are on the rise, it is crucial for everyone to stay physically active and prevent such illnesses. This year’s World Health Day theme, ‘My Health, My Right’, also emphasizes the message we aim to convey,” said Kinga Gyeltshen, Deputy Chief Programme Officer of the health ministry.

Speaking at the event, the WHO’s Representative to Bhutan stressed personal health responsibility as non-communicable diseases are on the rise.

“43 per cent of people are consuming alcohol and we have tobacco consumption at 24 per cent. And 28 per cent have blood pressure and hypertension problems, 2 per cent with diabetes, and 9 per cent with cancer. Obesity and overweight also seem to be increasing among children. The non-communicable diseases burden. Who is responsible for this? We ourselves,” said Dr Bhupinder Kaur Aulakh, WHO representative.

Aside from the run, the day-long programme also offered general health check-ups and screenings to all attendees.

Later in the day, the Minister of Education and Skills Development and the WHO Representative officially inaugurated the CT scan machine, marking a significant step forward in healthcare infrastructure for the region.

Since the machine’s arrival, the CT scan department at Samtse Hospital has served over 240 patients, including those referred from the national referral hospital to Samtse Hospital, recently.

Passang Dorji, Samtse

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