RMF and ARS join hands: Phase I implementation begins

March 17, 2010

Nairy Ghazourian


Even though there have been some notable economic improvements in Armenia, the country is still facing high inflation and frequent increases in costs for basic products and services. Social polarization reflects a highly uneven distribution of economic growth. Based on the World Bank’s statistics, over half of the population in the country is living under poverty level. The Ministry of Health is implementing health reforms, and it is struggling to provide quality medicines, supplies, and laboratory equipment to keep up basic medical services in many rural hospitals and small health facilities, including our clinic in Shinuhayr. There is especially a serious need for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies among vulnerable groups in the country.With the newly formed partnership between Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) and the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), the Primary Healthcare Project in Shinuhayr, Armenia is moving forward with its first implementation phase. The goal of the first phase of the project is to provide the primary healthcare clinic with the necessary medicines and supplies and to carry out a needs assessment for the purchase of an ambulance.

The Shinuhayr Primary Healthcare Clinic is the only clinic available in the region servicing its surrounding six villages. There is a wide range of need for services, such as prenatal health, pediatrics, cardiovascular, infectious diseases, orthopedics, geriatric services, etc. Within a given day, the facility assists 2-4 emergency calls. However, with access to an ambulance, the clinic can increase their outreach and services to 12-15 calls per day.

Children will also benefit from the clinic’s outreach. Given the harsh road and weather conditions during the winter season, many of the children are unable to be seen by the pediatrician for preventative services or urgent matters. Usually, they arrange to be seen once a month or every two months due to logistical reasons. With accessibility to an ambulance, these children can be visited frequently by the physician and receive the appropriate care they need.

RMF welcomes Kristine Matevosyan, our project coordinator in Shinuhayr who has been working on the project’s goals under the supervision of the ARS management team, Ms. Anna Menatsakanyan and Ms. Stella Arzumanyan.

With the goal in sight, ARS and Kristine began their work with the staff of the healthcare clinic to develop a plan and to select the categories of beneficiaries in Shinuhayr and its neighboring 6 villages, a population of 6,809 to receive services in the next year.

During her visit to Shinuhayr, member of the ARS Regional Executive Board, Stella Arzumanyan met with dozens of families that have been living in difficult and dire conditions. She referred to the municipalities as the "forgotten region" an area that has not been provided adequate assistance to address the needs of these vulnerable families. The head of the village agreed that conditions remained rather grim for these impoverished families.


N Village Population Children Age 0-7 Schoolchildren Age 8-17 Disabled Single mothers Socially vulnerable families
1 Shinuhayr 2895 336 541 119 18 157
2 Khot 973 130 135 27 2 32
3 Halidzor 525 44 103 32 2 22
4 Tatev 970 33 108 21 3 40
5 Sevarants 332 17 47 4 5 48
6 Tandzatap 100 9 12 5 10 12
7 Harjis 1014 111 158 18 7 36


6809 680 1104 226 47 347


Based on the above demographic data, 347 families fall under the “socially vulnerable” category and will benefit from the services of the project. In addition, 226 disabled, 680 children ages 0-7 and 1,104 school children ages 8-17 and 47 single mothers will benefit from our services after further analysis of their specific needs.

After further assessment of the clinic inventory and population needs, a comprehensive list of medicines were identified and are being purchased by RMF. 

Country Page: Armenia Initiative Page: Healthcare Project, Shinuhayr