Introduction: BHUTAN - A NATION STRESSING ON GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS
Bhutan grasped the essence of the saying and became the only nation in the world, which weighs and judges its growth and development through Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country has put people's happiness on top of its monetary gains. The philosophy of Gross National Happiness upholds strong principles of equality for all human beings with regard to their rights and responsibilities.
The country became a democratic constitutional monarchy in 2008. The Wangchuk dynasty carefully nurtured the nation into the path of modernisation whilst preserving its unique culture and traditions.
Bhutan is a landlocked nation bordered by China in the north and India on the south. The country has the lowest population density (12 persons per square kilometres) in South Asia. Characterised by a high fertility rate and a declining mortality, the nation is leading to a rapid population growth.
Despite this population growth, which is combined with tough geographical terrains, limited human resources and financial challenges, the country has been able to maintain impressive healthcare facilities. Overall 90 per cent of the population has access to basic healthcare services and the immunisation coverage is also 90 per cent. Striving to become a healthy nation in order to achieve its motto of Gross National Happiness, today Bhutan is focusing on HIV/AIDS. The target is zero new HIV infection by 2015. The government of Bhutan has realised how serious is the social and economic impact of HIV infection on the individual, family, community and ultimately on the state.