Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, in New Review Published by Dove Medical Press
Thailand (PRWEB) August 24, 2011
Bhutan, a mountainous country in the eastern Himalayas, has placed the utmost importance on the health and happiness of its people since the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was formulated in 1974. It is even prescribed in their constitution "the state shall strive to promote those conditions that will enable the pursuit of Gross National Happiness".
The authors of this paper, Tashi Tobgay, Ugen Dophu, Christina Torres and Kesara Na-Bangchang, report on the current status of Bhutan's health and happiness.
Health makes up about 5.7% of the total planned budget from the government, which has resulted in significant improvements for all health indicators. Life expectancy has raised from 49 in 1994 to 66 in 2008. The infant mortality rate/1000 live births has more than halved in the 24 years between 1984 and 2008.
Bhutan was the first country to ban the sale of tobacco (in 2004), has eliminated leprosy (in 1997) and iodine deficiency disorder (in 2003). Universal childhood immunization was also achieved in 1991. In 1998 the World Health Organization's award for primary health care went to Bhutan.
As the report states "Bhutan has made great strides within a short period of modernization, as shown by both objective and subjective indicators. Tremendous challenges lie ahead to achieve the ultimate goal of health and happiness, and how Bhutan articulates its path to modernization may be a lesson for the rest of the world."
This report was funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund/United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank/World Health Organization program for research and training in tropical diseases.
Dove Medical Press is a privately held publisher of 100+ open access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine. Dove was founded in 2003 and has offices in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, with an active presence in the USA and a network of agents in Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia.