Prevent and Understand the Spread of Disease in Bhutan

The Dr. Anayat Yaganagi Program for Control of Diseases

This Program is named in honor of Dr. Anayat Yaganagi who was the Superintendent of Thimphu General Hospital (now the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital)  who at the request of the third Druk Gyalpo HM Jigme Dorji Wangchuck developed Western medical services, especially in the remote Eastern Region, and in 1983 at the request of the fourth Druk Gyalpo HM Jigme Singye Wangchuck transformed the central hospital into the National Referral Hospital and initiated the Pediatric Services in the new building constructed by UNICEF..  He  recruited Dr. Morrow to be the first Child Specialist in this new Service in 1983.

In 2014, ABAH made a special donation of US$4000(Nu 360,000) to send two Bhutanese professionals to Sri Lanka for training in Palliative Care.  this is part of the management program for cancer, since without sufficient diagnostic eguipment many patients present late in the course of their disease.  This program in Palliative Care is functioning at JDWNRH and Alissa McInerney made a site visit in April 2016.  They are training and will expand these services to the rest of the health care system.

in 2016, ABAH made a special donation of US $1000 (Nu 60,000) to the Eastern Referral Regional Hospital Poor Patient Welfare Fund.  This was in honor of our Patron,  HRH Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, and Dr. Anayat.

The Equipment Donation Program is a vital part of improving diagnostics in Bhutan for early detection and control and treatment of disease and injury. The initial priorities we follow were  set forth in authorizing letters received by the Executive Secretary in April 2013 at a meeting in Thimphu with Bhutanese Ministry of Health. Consultation,  best medical and public health practices and collaborative counterpart relationships guide our priorities and activities.

We are collaborating with University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital on a project led by Dr. Ardythe Morrow and Dr. James Richter on the high incidence of Cancer of the Stomach.  This disease was mentioned as early as 2006 as a high priority to Dr. RobertMorrow in consultation with Health Authorities in Thimphu. To read a copy of the 2006 assessment visit and consultations click here.


We collaborate now with Dr. Ardythe Morrow, also a member of our Board of Directors, of Cincinnati Children's Medical Center Department of Neonatology and a world famous breast milk researcher and epidemiologist.  She is developing a proposal to study the primordial micro biome in remote Eastern Bhutan in collaboration with Dr. KP Tshering of the UMSB in Thimphu and the Ministry of Health and Eastern Regional Referral Hospital.


Our current priorities for activities in Bhutan are the development of a tumor registry, support of surveillance activities, control of diabetes and hypertension which are newly emerging chronic diseases. Hepatitis C, and especially the initiation of a Breast Health Program for Breast Cancer prevention and early detection and treatment.

For recent publications on the challenge of Helicobacter pylori and stomach cancer click here:

Epidemiology of H pylori in Bhutan:  The role of environment and geographic location, 2013byDorji Dorji, Tashi Dendup, Hoda Malaty, Kinley Wangchuck, Deki Yangzom and James Richter.

Extremely high prevalence of H pylori infection in Bhutan, 2013 by Vilaichone RK et al

Antibiotic resistance rate of H pylori in Bhutan, 2013 by Viliachone RK et al

For the recent World Bank report that shows differential between Small Area Poverty in Eastern and Western Bhutan click here:

World Bank Report on regional poverty levels in Bhutan, 2010