2018 Summer Course Bhutanese Fellows’ Reflection

Four Bhutanese were supported by Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation for attending the Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response Summer Institute 2018 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The followings are reflections from the students regarding their study in Hong Kong:

 “I come from a small landlocked and developing country. Attending a summer course in a very populated and well-developed city was a completely new experience to me. Although the “Disaster and Humanitarian Crisis” course was just 4 days, a lot of topics related to disaster preparedness were covered, and responses to disasters happened in various parts of the world were discussed,” said Dr Chencho Gem, Medical Officer of Sipsu Hospital in Bhutan.

Dr Sangay Phuntsho, General Duty Medical Officer of Samtse General Hospital in Bhutan, felt honoured to attend the course and he really learnt from it, “Classes are interactive and teachers are very resourceful. The conducive learning environment enables every student to acquire knowledge and skills from various perspectives.”

Ms Dawa Zangmo, Block Administrative Officer at the Department of Local Governance, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, also agreed that it was a great experience to attend the course which was relevant to Bhutan context in disaster management such as preparedness, awareness and response, “These are very useful and crucial to be implemented in Bhutan. My understanding in this subject has been enriched and it will benefit me a lot during the implementation in Bhutan.”

Dr Thinley Dorji, Chief Medical Officer of Satse General Hospital in Bhutan explained, “Due to limited qualified human and financial resources, very limited progress has been made in terms of preparedness. Attending the course has inspired me as a clinician and a public health worker regarding how the preparedness should be taken before a disaster strikes and the management of victims post disaster. Having never participated in a post disaster crisis response, the use of “Sphere standards” is meaningful for us to deploy humanitarian actions in the future if necessary. In most disaster setting, mental health issues are being neglected since people tend to focus more on physical injuries. The introduction of psychological first aid was totally new to me.”