Shinuhayr 3rd Quarter Report

November 16, 2011

Stella Arzumanyan, Nairy Ghazourian, Arax Eleyjian, Ani Dikranian

Project Goal: 
Increase access to healthcare and continuum of care in Shinuhayr and its surrounding seven villages by providing comprehensive healthcare services, maternal-child health, childhood vaccinations, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, ambulance services and community outreach and education to a population of 6,809.  Our long-term goal is to rebuild the Shinuhayr primary care clinic back into a fully functioning hospital and add a community center.

 Project Objectives: 
• Provide free medications to all in need, especially to chronically ill patients;
• Provide prenatal education and vitamins to expectant mothers;
• Educate parents about the importance of vaccinations and provide free childhood vaccinations;
• Assess children’s current health status (via registration logs);
• Promote the RMF ambulance as a tool for the community to facilitate their access to care;
• Build open communication channels and trust between the community and RMF;
• Seek funding for renovation of the clinic.

Summary of RMF-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period under each project objective:

• A total of 300 patients received free medication: some received their monthly medicines and others became first-time beneficiaries of the project;
• 136 children were vaccinated;
• An education outreach and vaccination day was organized by Stella Arzumanyan in one of the communities to inform parents about the importance of childhood vaccinations as well as about the services rendered by RMF; the event was also used as an opportunity for children and their mothers to be examined by the physician;  
• 61 house calls were made using the RMF ambulance to visit and treat patients too ill to come to the clinic; the conditions of patients seen included diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, bronchitis, gastritis, asthma, arthritis, cystitis, etc.;
• On August 7th, RMF's LA team held a photography exhibit entitled, "Los Angeles has a Passion for Compassion: A Journey to Armenia." The event was sponsored by Mark Geragos and attended by various celebrities. RMF raised awareness about our work in Armenia as well as enough funds to both sponsor Mariam's treatments for the next two years and to continue the provision of existing services for two months.


Results and or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:

• 136 children vaccinated;
• 61 home visits done;
• 300 patients provided with free medications;
• 14 births and 10 deaths registered in the eight communities;
• Funding of treatment for 14-year old Halidzor resident Mariam Tevosyan secured by August 7th event; Mariam’s treatment is expected to begin on October 15th.

Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries:

The total number of direct project beneficiaries during this time period was 300: specifically, 130 from Shinuhayr; 34 from Khot; 14 from Halidzor; 40 from Tatev; 42 from Svarants; 23 from Tandzatap and 17 from Harzhis.  Of the total, 80 were male, 163 female and 57 were children.

Success story(s) highlighting project impact: 

• In July, the clinic received a call that 52-year old Khot resident Vanush Stepanyan had fallen ill.  When the family medicine physician visited him at home, he complained of cardio-pulmonary discomfort.  He had a fever, bad breath, high blood pressure and fluid accumulation in his lungs.  He required immediate treatment, but being from a socially disadvantaged family, Vanush could not afford to buy the medication necessary.  RMF stepped in to provide the appropriate medicine, and Vanush was able to begin his course of treatment on that same day.  Sometime later, he told the nurse that, without the medication, he would have simply waited to die.  Upon the successful completion of the first treatment phase, Vanush was called to the clinic for follow-up and was provided with the medication for the second phase.

• On July 22nd, Elida Hayrapetyan was barely able to reach the clinic from Halidzor village.  She was experiencing nausea, confusion and reduced vision.  The doctor’s examination revealed an elevated blood pressure of 240/180.  At the time, the RMF project coordinator, Stella Arzumanyan, was out of the clinic making rounds in another village.  As the clinic did not have the appropriate medicine to treat Elida, Stella immediately returned to the clinic to provide the necessary medication.  Thanks to RMF, Elida received the care she needed at the time she needed it.

• 51-year old Vardanush Minasyan has been diagnosed with hypertension.  She is a resident of Tatev village and a member of a socially disadvantaged family of seven.  None of the working-age adults in the family is employed.  Due to financial inability to purchase medicine, Vardanush has endured her condition for months.  However, she recently contacted RMF and now receives her monthly medication for free.  She expresses her deep gratitude to all those who make this type of assistance a reality for her as well as other members of her community.

• Anush Israyelyan is an established beneficiary of the project.  On one of her visits to the clinic, RMF staff noticed that she was acting strangely.  The doctor examined her and discovered that Anush had suffered sunstroke, which was affecting her mental capacities.  RMF provided her with the appropriate medicine, and treatment was immediately administered intravenously.  Anush reported returning home feeling better.

• Every summer, 6-year old children who are registered to begin school in the fall visit the clinic to be examined and to ensure that they are up-to-date on their childhood vaccinations schedule.  To this end, RMF organized an open clinic day in the village of Khot, where 10 children were examined, vaccinated and cleared for school admission in September.  Taking advantage of the opportunity, the mothers of these children participated in an RMF-facilitated health education discussion and were also examined by the physician.  One mother was found to have a breast abnormality and was issued a referral to receive specialty care at the regional hospital. 

• When Garnik Tsaturyan’s son called the clinic to request a home visit for his ailing 84-year old father, Garnik had barely eaten anything for the past 10 days and had already given up on receiving any type of care.  Upon examination, the doctor prescribed an intravenous course of vitamins, which might help increase his strength and appetite.  Garnik was appreciative of the visit.  However, after a few days, another visit to Garnik’s home in Khot village became necessary.  His condition had deteriorated both physically and mentally, and he refused any oral or intravenous medication.  RMF staff eventually persuaded him to accept another dose of vitamins and a bit of food in an attempt to make him comfortable for the remaining days of his life.

• Like the general population, healthcare workers who fall ill also face barriers to seeking appropriate care.  In September, Astghik Grigoryan, the dedicated nurse of Svarants village, began experiencing severe abdominal pain.  Due to financial constraints, she suffered through it for 15 days before being transported to the clinic in Shinuhayr and subsequently referred to the hospital in Goris.  There, she was told that she must travel to Yerevan for diagnostic tests.  Astghik lives in a household of five and is the primary income earner: her 35-year old husband is disabled and receives a monthly pension, her 75-year old father-in-law suffered a stroke about a month ago and also receives a pension, and her two children are 14 and 7 years old.  Their combined monthly household income is approximately US$160.  The diagnostic tests that were recommended to Astghik included x-ray examinations, CT scans and a series of exams at a proctology center, all of which would cost her a significantly higher amount than she can afford to pay.  For this reason, RMF took on the responsibility of covering the costs of testing and treatment.  Astghik was diagnosed with a number of illnesses: neurosis, osteochondrosis, struma, colitis, hemorrhoids, uterine wall inflammation, a 6cm ovarian cyst, cervical inflammation and intestinal weakness.  In all her years of caring for her family and community, Astghik appears to have disregarded her own health.  Nevertheless, thanks to RMF, she is now receiving the necessary treatment.  Meanwhile, her community awaits the return of their only nurse.

Country Page: Armenia Initiative Page: Healthcare Project, Shinuhayr