An inconvenient truth

Last week, on the 8th of July, Bhutan Today reported that the Phuentsholing hospital received four post abortion complication cases in just one month. All the abortions had been performed across the border, in Jaigon. All four cases were life-threatening.

This week, on the 14th of July, Kuensel reported that a young woman died in Phuentsholing hospital from post abortion complications. The abortion had been performed on the 11th of July, in Jaigon, just three days after the Bhutan Today article.

Many of our women have lost their lives attempting abortions. Many, many more have suffered life-threatening complications caused by abortions. And countless others have undergone the trauma of abortions in dangerous clinics across our border.

The media have done a remarkable job informing the public about the reality of abortions, especially about abortions that go wrong. But still, the subject is taboo.

We know what’s happening. But we chose to ignore the truth.

This cannot continue. We must talk about it. This conversation will, no doubt, be uncomfortable, even difficult. But for the sake of our women – for the sake of our sisters and our daughters – we must accept what’s going on. And we must look for solutions.

What do you think?

Should we legalize abortion? Or should we explore other solutions? Please give me your views. And please take the poll.

Why I’ve been lazy

Three reasons why I’ve been less than diligent with my posts recently:

  1. The National Assembly is in session;
  2. The World Cup is on; and
  3. My cough persists. It refuses to go away, and has kept me, and my family, awake for many frustrating nights. But, countless home remedies and two ill-advised rounds of antibiotics later, good sense eventually prevailed – I consulted a physician. The specialist ordered a sputum culture, identified the offending bacteria, prescribed the right antibiotic, and, just like that, I’m already feeling better.



Our last poll asked: “What legislation to control smoking would work?”

Most of you (58%) said: Allow sales, but at higher prices. 31% said: Ban sales and ban smoking. And, only 11% said: Ban sales but allow smoking.

Parliament has, however, already decided that the sale of tobacco products inside our country will be illegal. Though the National Council had initially favoured allowing sales (but with hefty taxes), they reversed their decision after the National Assembly insisted on applying a complete ban on the sale of tobacco products.

So the debate on whether or not to ban the sale of tobacco products is over. Now for the impossible part – to implement the ban!

Impressive healthcare professionals


I had a toothache last week. So on Friday, I went to the JDWNR hospital where Dr Kuenga Penjor, a young dentist, showed me that one of my molars had developed a big cavity beneath an old filling. He quickly removed the old filling, cleaned the cavity, and applied a new filling. My aches gave gone, and my tooth now feels as good as new.

Dr Kuenga studied dentistry for six years at the Patna Dental College under a GOI scholarship. He is only 26 years old and has already decided to become an orthodontist. I’m impressed.

I’m also impressed with his assistant, Sangay Wangmo, a trainee at the Royal Institute of Health Sciences. I’m impressed with Sangay because, when I last saw her, more than two years ago, she was working at the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources as a receptionist. But she wanted to do more. So she enrolled at the RIHS. Another year and she’ll be a certified dental technician. Well done.