Let’s all campaign to treat mental illness without secrecy and taboo: Dr.Chhabi

Published on Dec 21 2013 // Interview, Main News/Bhutan News Service

Dr Chhabilall Timsina (Sharma) is originally from Gaylephug Bhutan. He worked in Bhutan as the DiDr-Chabilall-819x1024strict Medical Officer . After he became a refugee, Dr. Sharma worked for eight years with the Save the Children (UK), and UNHCR in Nepal, caring for Bhutanese refugees. He completed his psychiatry residency at Hennepin- Regions Psychiatry Program, Minnesota in 2011, where he served as Chief Resident . He is currently Board Certified psychiatrist working for Health Partners, and spends part of his clinical time at Health Partner’s Center for International Health taking care of refugees and immigrants. Dr. Sharma is recently been appointed by University of Minnesota as Global Health Faculty (as Nepal Site Director).

In an attempt to bring out more detail picture about the alarming suicides among the resettled community, BNS talked to Dr Sharma. Here is what he has to say about the issue and probable measures of solution:

You have long served as a medical professional in Bhutan as well as in exile; can you share about the overall health condition of Bhutanese Community?
After graduating from Kanpur Medical College in India, I worked for about 8 years in Bhutan from 1984 to 1992. I worked in Bumthang, Thimphu, Chirang, and Wangiphdrang districts. I initially started as General Duty Medical Officer and then was promoted to District Medical Officer with the responsibility of managing the district level hospitals and advising and supervising other medical establishments in the districts. Ours was a country at a very early stage of modern development with low level of literacy and limited infrastructural facilities and amenities of living. However, we had great faith in our capacity to improve and there was great enthusiasm and goodwill among all people. Our capacity and sophistication of services was limited and accessibility to care was constrained by lack of awareness and geographical distance and terrain. People in Bhutan suffered from the following diseases:



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