Honorable Health Minister, Lyonpo (Dasho) Dechen Wangmo met with the staff and students of Samtse College of Education in the afternoon of 24 August 2022.
Her Excellency described Bhutan’s response to Covid 19 as a triumph over what could have been a major public health crisis. Some of the important achievements managed during the pandemic were 95% inoculation of the population in five days; successful reverse isolation; and the successful evacuation of stranded Bhutanese in foreign countries. Lyonpo explained that the experience revealed the nation’s strengths and weaknesses. She emphasized our smallness and solidarity as a strength. The willingness of the Bhutanese people to adhere to the mandates outlined by the government was a crucial factor for the country’s success. However, Lyonpo also pointed out that we lack skills – skills as simple as plucking areca nut. Lyonpo concluded by urging the audience to always choose Bhutan first.
Several students claimed the speech moved them to tears. “I just could not hold back my tears when Lyonpo reminded us of the haunting pause during His Majesty’s second address to the nation after the lockdown,” said an MEd student. “My throat closed up when Lyonpo mentioned the young students of Faculty of Nursing and Public Health who willing became frontline workers during the pandemic,” commented another student. The afternoon visit ended with a short question and answer session.