Sunday, April 26th, 2015 - 10:44 AM
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NCDs – The modern malaise

coverNon-communicable or lifestyle diseases have become the bane of urban Bhutan

The deadly (as opposed to psychedelic) LSD

COVER STORY Apart from gold, tea, silk and pearls, salt was one of the rare commodities bought from Tibet in the old days.  People walked for days to barter for such rare commodities with Tibetan traders.

Later, as the trade route shifted to Bengal in India, the Bhutanese began to trade for salt and other items from the border to the south.

Decho, 80, from Lhuentse, remembers how male [... Read More]

Requesting to turn the Wheel of dharma

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO The sixth limb of the seven-part practice is entreating the Buddhas and teachers to turn the wheel of dharma. Turning the Wheel of dharma is an idiomatic expression for teaching. In the fifth practice, one requests the Buddha, bodhisattvas and masters to live long in the world to benefit the world. In this case, one entreats the enlightened beings to teach the dharma to the beings in [... Read More]

Under the shadow of modernity

Besides the usual suspects, alcohol is a prime cause of non-communicable diseases

NCDS Lifestyle diseases, also called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or diseases of longevity, have become the biggest health challenge in Bhutan in recent times.  According to the World Bank, the number of lives lost due to ill health, disability, and early death, and NCDs (inclusive of injuries) account for more than 62 percent of the total disease burden in the country.

The threat from [... Read More]

Suicide is the worst option

YOUTH IN FOCUS Well, Tashi, first of all Buddhism doesn’t have a concept of sin. We believe that everything occurs due to karma. Although a complicated subject, perhaps this example will help you to understand it a little. Think of a skyscraper. Each layer of the building relies on the stability of the layers below. Now, imagine if inferior building material was used on the third floor. Even though the material used to [... Read More]

Preventing NCDs

LAST PAGE The Ministry of Health is concerned about the emergence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among the Bhutanese population. The number of NCD cases reporting in the health facility across the country shows an increasing trend of major NCDs like alcohol related liver disease, diabetes, cancers and hypertension at an alarming pace. It was found out from the 2014 NCD behavioral risk factors survey, the 10.7 percent of the Bhutanese populations are exposed to [... Read More]

2014 – The Year of the Cleanup


Bhutan should have had universal access to improved sanitation and hygiene

COVER STORY This is the year – 2014 – when the country should have had 100 percent access to improved and hygienic sustainable sanitation and hygiene, the year when there would be no open defecation, and all households, schools and public places would have access to improved and well maintained sanitation facilities (toilets).

The year is drawing to a close, and the world observed [... Read More]

Then and NOW


TOILETS It took me about seven years to gather the courage to heed to nature’s call by myself.

Yes, until 12, I could not go to the toilet alone, because it reminded me of a ghost story that my late grandmother once told me when I was five or six.

She told me that a hairy hand, a demon’s,  with evil claws, would come out of the hole in the toilet and take me away.  The [... Read More]

Yirangwa or Rejoicing


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO The fifth limb of the seven-part practice is jesu yirangwa or rejoicing. In this practice, one wholeheartedly rejoices in the good deeds of both oneself and others. It is a way of experiencing joy without any effort or cost and an easy method of accumulating merit without any resources.

This practice is aimed at overcoming jealousy, which is a negative state of mind desiring good things only for oneself. [... Read More]

Operation ‘Toilet Clean-up’


There has been a welcome sea-change that has come over school and public facilities 

HYGIENE Imagine clean toilets in schools that do not smell.

That was impossible more than a decade ago, but today students feel welcome inside school toilets, thus reducing the number of absentees at school.

Jigme Losel lower secondary school in Thimphu has toilets that are user-friendly for the students.  The students have painted the walls of the toilets  colourfully, with different cartoon [... Read More]

Women have nothing to fear from weights

HEALTH & FITNESS I am interested to join a gym and to lift weights but I’m scared that I might get bulky. Please advise.

Sonam Dema, 24, Thimphu

Dear Sonam,

As a woman, you have nothing to fear to lift weights.

To be honest with you, it’s close to impossible to put on any amount of muscle on a female, as one of the most important factors necessary to put on muscle is the availability of the [... Read More]