As part of our continued support to build the capacity of health professionals in Bhutan by developing research and scientific writing skills, we supported a four-day authors’ and reviewers’ workshop led by the Bhutan Health Journal under the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB). The Bhutan Health Journal, the country’s first scientific medical journal, covers a wide range of areas such as clinical findings, medical education, nursing and midwifery, traditional medicine, public health, health policy, and perspectives from various fields of health sciences envisioned to improve health care service in Bhutan.
In addition to the training, the Bhutan Foundation provided research grants to the Medical Education Centre for Research Innovation and Training (MECRIT) at KGUMSB to promote health research in Bhutan. According to Dr. Neyzang Wangmo, Director of MECRIT, the research culture in Bhutan is growing, and there is a growing interest among the faculty members at KGUMSB to conduct research in their own areas of work. However, she added that there is still the need to further develop competency and mentors, as most KGUMSB faculty members are novice researchers. As an initial step, two-week health research methods training was conducted by Dr. Mary Alice Lee, a faculty member at the Yale School of Public Health.
KGUMSB faculty submitted 29 research proposals, from which 12 were selected for grant funding. Awarded research areas include studies on immunization coverage in the Gasa District, chronic kidney patients undergoing dialysis in Bhutan, and the treatment of non-communicable diseases at the Traditional Medicine Hospital.