New Partnerships in Public Health in Bhutan!

This month, we are excited to share that the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is our newest partner in Bhutan! The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), Bhutan’s only medical university, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UCSF to work together to build public health capacity in Bhutan. Through this new partnership, we carried out two health workshops in Bhutan.

Palliative Care Workshop for Nurses–The palliative care workshop, organized by the KGUMSB faculty of Nursing and Public Health, addressed medical care of patients living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Dr. Anuradha Banerjee, a pediatric neuro-oncologist and UCSF faculty member, led the workshop to share knowledge and skills related to palliative care. Twenty-eight Bhutanese nurses and health-care providers participated in the training, which involved interactive sessions, discussions, and case scenario and role play of clinical cases using diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for commonly encountered problems. For most Bhutanese nurses, this was an introduction to palliative care.

Bhutan Health Journal Trainings–The Bhutan Health Journal (BHJ), Bhutan’s first scientific medical journal, organized a three-day scientific-manuscript-writing workshop. UCSF faculty member Dr. William McFarland and professors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences facilitated the three-day workshop in Thimphu, Bhutan. Forty-five Bhutanese health providers learned how to organize and develop a scientific journal article and were encouraged to submit their papers to medical journals.

Dr. Karma Tenzin, Deputy Executive Editor of the Bhutan Health Journal and lecturer at KGUMSB, said that the series of trainings conducted by the journal have resulted in a pool of professional health researchers, authors, and expert reviewers in Bhutan. He also said that the Bhutan Health Journal recruits young graduates as assistant editors, thereby grooming the future generation who will take care of the scientific process of the journal in Bhutan. Dr. Karma added that the Bhutan Health Journal would not have achieved this level of success without the generous support of the Bhutan Foundation and international partners.

Video Interview with Dr. McFarland–For Dr. William McFarland, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF, this was his fourth trip facilitating trainings in Bhutan. Dr. McFarland is also on the editorial board of the Bhutan Health Journal. Here is a video interview with Dr. McFarland during his April 2017 trip to Bhutan:¬†Here

Here’s a brief overview of our support to address public¬†health needs in Bhutan and how you can help: Here