First Quarter Report 2011

August 26, 2011

Arax Eleyjian

RMF Armenia continues strong with its first quarter 2011 implementation. Project objectives are to continue distribution of medicines and medical supplies to Shinuhayr, Khot, Halidzor, Tatev, Svarants, Tandzatap, Kashuni, Harzhis villages in Syunik Marz, examine common illnesses and bring awareness to these communities about the importance of routine doctor visits and medication adherence, and to vaccinate children and continue to educate parents about the importance of vaccinations as well as prenatal care.

The news about RMF’s work in these communities is spreading quickly via word of mouth and many have been more aware of the great benefits the project provides. Due to the triumphant Christmas 2010 project, many of the locals got introduced to RMF. Unfortunately, during the first two months of the year; January and February 2011, the harsh weather conditions and snowstorms made it very challenging for residents to visit clinics and receive care. As a result, the quantity of pharmaceuticals distributed and the amount of patients treated significantly decreased. Those who did receive care were through personal house calls. RMF team members and medical staff traveled to see patients via the RMF ambulance. In the month of February, 91 house calls were made.

Success Stories
Garnik Stepanyan, a wheelchair bound handicapped gentleman suffers from hypertension. His wife had traveled to the health post on a cold winter day looking for help. She had trouble with her blood pressure monitor and wanted to see if she could find another that worked properly. The RMF team replaced her broken monitor with a new one. Mrs. Stepanyan was ecstatic and somewhat in doubt and could not believe she had received a new monitor at no cost. She thanked us all for helping her and giving her the tools to take care of her disabled husband.

Photo: Anush receiving care

In November 2010, Anush Israyelyan had called the RMF team for assistance with her sick daughter. She could not afford any medical services but desperately needed care for her daughter. They were brought to the health post and treated right away. In February 2011, Anush phoned RMF and explained her desperate physical condition. The RMF team transported Anush to Yerevan for a more comprehensive and in-depth examination where she was diagnosed with hookworms. The Armenian Relief Society took over Anush’s care in Yerevan and paid her medical expenses, even taking her to a dentist for some dental procedures. RMF funded Anush’s traveling and medication expenses. Due to the amazing services that Anush had experienced the first time around, she knew she could trust the RMF team and ask for assistance during her most desperate times. Anush is very happy and grateful to RMF and ARS for helping her restore her health.

In the month of March 2011 RMF focused on child and adolescent health. Each of the villages/communities was evaluated and the number of children/adolescents with disabilities and illnesses were reported. The gathered data is indicative of previously registered children/adolescents with health posts.

Some of the children in the 0-8 age group suffered from speech disability, anemia, dislocated joints or deformations, and ophthalmic problems. Three children in the 8-16 age group suffered from headaches, jaw deformation and arthritis.

In Harzhis, among the children in the 0-8 age group, five suffered from anemia, two from tonsillitis, one from hernia and another from rachitis. Among children in the 8-16 age group, five girls and two boys were found to have ophthalmic problems; three girls suffered from tonsillitis, a boy with schizophrenia, and another with epilepsy. From both age groups several boys were diagnosed with testicular disorders.

In Tatev, among the children in the of 0-8 age group, the majority were found to be anemic. An eight year old girl was diagnosed with Familial Mediterranean Fever and a seven year old boy was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Among the 8-16 age group, most suffered from anemia and headaches. A few other cases such as abdominal pain, ear aches and dislocated joints were also diagnosed.

From the Halidzor community, only a few children were registered with having an illness: a ten year old girl with diabetes, a fifteen year old girl with gallbladder disease, and an eleven year old girl with a spinal disorder.

From the Tandzatap region, only a sixteen year old girl was found to be registered with an illness; facial nerve paralysis.

Despite the larger population of children in Shinuhayr, only a few were found to be registered with an illness among which were: renal disease, liver-gallbladder disease, two cases of spinal deformation, two cases of Cerebral Palsy, two cases of mental retardation, issues with joint inflammation, two children suffering from deafness, a child with a skin tumor, deviated nasal septum, goiter, nocturnal enuresis and testicular problems.

From Khot two boys in the 0-8 year age group were registered with optical issues, one being blind and the other having a lazy eye. From the 8-16 age group, two (a boy and a girl) were registered with eye problems. In addition, a boy presented with epilepsy and a girl with joint problems.

According to UNICEF, the “total child population in Armenia (0-18 y.o) – 819,000 (National Statistics Service)” ( 7163.html). In 2006, 41.9% of children under 5 were determined to be poor and 8% extremely poor (Caucasus Research Resource Center Report on Child Poverty, 2006)”. Children are more prone to become the most vulnerable and powerless poor in any nation and hence, are targets for having disabilities, diseases and poor health. From the data collected from these regions, RMF plans to design focused programs to enhance child/adolescent healthcare and help these children stand strong.

Country Page: Armenia Initiative Page: Healthcare Project, Shinuhayr