(July 2007) Over the past 30 years, Bhutan has become a South Asian health care success story by reducing its high incidence of respiratory disease and astronomical levels of maternal mortality. Few would have predicted this. No one starves in Bhutan. And childhood malnutrition and maternal deaths have dropped considerably. In 1998, the World Health Organization designated the Bhutanese health system one of the best programs in Southeast Asia.

The health care system focuses on primary health care: the prevention of disease, promotion of good health, and rehabilitation of people. All health care is free.

To learn more about what Bhutan did to make such progress, go to: www.dcp2.org/features/45 .

The Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP) is an ongoing effort to assess disease control priorities and produce evidence-based analysis and resource materials to inform health policymaking in developing countries. DCPP has produced three volumes providing technical resources that can assist developing countries in improving their health systems and ultimately, the health of their people.