Royal Grandmother

My last post was about Dr Aubrey Leatham, a leading pioneer in cardiology and the development of pacemakers. Dr Leatham, along with others, like Dr Albert Craig, had been invited to Bhutan by Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, to care for His Majesty the Third King.

Between then and now, Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother has also spearheaded innumerable programs to care for the health of the people. They include, among many others, the introduction of, for the first time in Bhutan, drugs to fight leprosy and tuberculosis.

What’s more, Her Majesty, now in her eighties, continues to work to improve healthcare and alleviate the sufferings of our people. Just last week, Professor Ian Frazer, the scientist credited with developing the HPV vaccine, was in Thimphu at the invitation of Her Majesty.

The human papillomavirus causes cervical cancer, a leading cause of death among Bhutanese women. So Professor Frazer’s work and the HPV vaccine have contributed immensely to improving the quality and length of the lives of our women.

But the vaccines are expensive. They currently sell for US$ 120 per shot in the market, and a full course, consisting of three doses, costs a whopping US$ 360. Luckily, under Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother’s patronage, the Ministry of Health’s extended program of immunization has received US$ 32 million worth of HPV vaccines from the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation.

The program to prevent cervical cancer began three years ago. That is when girls, throughout the country, started getting the HPV vaccines. The idea is to cover all women … and to put an end to cervical cancer.

For this, and for much more – for introducing modern healthcare in Bhutan, for eradicating leprosy among our people, for controlling tuberculosis – I humbly thank Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, Royal Grandmother.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Your Majesty,
    I have no words to describe the profound love and care you have for Bhutan and Bhutanese people. May you live long for many years to come with health, happiness and peace!

  2. Can we also please talk about how this disease is transmitted and how it can cause cervical cancer in women. Better treatment is one important side of the story. The other side is increasing awareness about how to prevent HPV spreading among young Bhutanese women.

    Both, men and women, can be carriers of the HPV virus and never show any signs or symptoms. So, most people who have HPV do not know for their entire life. However, as carriers of the virus that show no symptoms, they can still transmit HPV during sexual intercourse. So anyone who is sexually active with different partners, if young or old, needs to use a condom every time they have sex. So to help young Bhutanese women prevent contracting HPV it is the responsibility of every sexually active man and woman to use condoms.

  3. Truth_is_Buddha says

    A remarkable woman ~ one with beauty, brains, compassion, care & selfless-ness. A tru mother of all Bhutanese. Kadrinchey to the Royal Grandmother for just being there for us…

Leave a Reply