Bhutan: Local, high-quality technologies support local businesses and sustainable services
In the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak in a district hospital in Bhutan, the Ministry of Health worked with local engineers and innovators to develop a low-cost device that dispensed filtered, safe water and allowed for hand washing. Five models were installed in key points including the emergency department and an influenza clinic with the aim of increasing access to hand hygiene, providing a co-benefit of drinking water. The installation was combined with a behaviour change strategy as well as plans to continually operate and maintain the devices. In the long term, such facilities are expected to facilitate disease prevention and the healthy behaviours needed to reduce infectious and waterborne diseases. The Ministry of Health has plans to provide similar facilities to all the hospitals and basic health units in Bhutan.