World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16th October to promote global awareness. For the Ministry of Health, World Food Day is a really good opportunity to highlight the role of food on health. It is an opportunity to advocate to our people that healthy food will not only improve the health but also the overall well being of the people. On the other hand, if food is not adequate, or healthy, then it could prove to be disastrous to health. The World Food Day is also an important reminder that healthy food and agriculture are related. Without working to grow, produce or make available health foods, it would be very difficult to achieve good health. So this day reminds us that all ministries and agencies must work together to achieve good health and nutrition.The Ministry of Health has had a lot of initiatives that look to reduce the disease burden and improve nutritional security of the people of Bhutan. In fact, one of the first public health programs to be ever introduced in Bhutan was the Nutrition Program. In the early 60s, Bhutan was known to have a high prevalence of goiters – which is a visible sign of Iodine deficiency – and we also had a lot of our children suffering from protein energy malnutrition. In response, we established the nutrition program which implemented many nutrition specific interventions to eliminate these public health problems.

Stay health, stay safe!