Walk the Talk Event on Cervical Cancer in Gasa Dzongkhag
Walk the Talk event was organized by the Young Volunteers In Action (Y-VIA) and the teachers of Gasa Primary School and Dzongkhag Administration Gasa to raise awareness about cervical cancer prevention and control in Bhutan. The event took place on August 5th, 2023, with the theme "Beat Cervical Cancer: Vaccinate, Screen, Educate." This initiative was in response to the command of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Gyalyum Tseyring Pem Wangchuck.
The event kicked off with participants assembling at the Lower Market, where they were grouped and organized for the day's activities. These groups ventured out to various individual shops, actively engaging in conversations to provide information and knowledge about cervical cancer. The Y-VIA members shared information with individuals and commuters they met along the way.
The chief guest for the program was the Hon'ble Dasho Dzongda. Dasho addressed the gathering about cervical cancer and its multifaceted aspects, including matters related to treatment both within and outside. Importantly, he emphasized that cervical cancer is a concern that transcends economic divisions, affecting people from all walks of life.
The vital task of creating awareness was led by the Dzongkhag Health Officer (DHO) and the Assistant Dzongkhag Health Officer (ADHO). They conducted enlightening presentations at the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) hall, where participants convened. The DHO covered a comprehensive range of topics, including Cervical Cancer, providing insights into the global, national, and Dzongkhag-specific context. DHO also delved into risk factors, signs, symptoms, and prevention strategies. Additionally, the Doctor (Medical Officer In-charge - MOIC) of Gasa Hospital supplemented the sessions by imparting further education about Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cervical diseases to the participants.
As part of the event, the Y-VIA group showcased cultural performances. An impactful moment was the sharing of a video featuring the perspectives of ex-patients, underscoring the urgency and significance of raising awareness regarding cervical cancer prevention and control.
Expressing gratitude and delivering a vote of thanks, the Y-VIA coordinator played an integral role in expressing appreciation for the collective efforts of all involved. The event also included health screenings, as participants, including the chief guest, were checked for Body Mass Index (BMI), and necessary advice was provided for any deviated findings.
Attendance at the program was diverse, including local leaders, teachers, Dzongkhag staff, shopkeepers, and members of the Gasa Dzongkhag community. The event was organized with the support from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Overall, the event was comprehensive and well-organized in promoting knowledge on cervical cancer and its prevention.
Report compiled by: Dawa Gyeltshen (DHO)