Year End Report for 2010
April 1, 2011
Nairy Ghazourian and Arax Eleyjian
2010 proved to be a very successful year for Real Medicine Foundation’s work in Shinuhyar, Armenia and its surrounding 7 villages, which RMF funds at 100%. We are grateful to the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) our partner organization on the ground for their utmost support in the implementation process of our projects. Thank you to Anna Mnatzakanyan from ARS (Yerevan) and Stella Arzumanjan, RMF project coordinator on the ground from ARS (Goris). Thanks to ALL our readers and supporters for your continued donations to sustain our programs in Shinuhayr. Without your support this would be impossible to attain.
Summary of 2010 accomplishments:
• Provided free monthly medications to 406 chronically ill patients.
• Supplied the Shinuhayr Primary Clinic and 7 health posts with pharmaceuticals and needed medical supplies.
• Vaccinated 504 children and provided education to parents about the importance of vaccinations to empower them with knowledge and equip them on how to make better and healthier “health” decisions for themselves, their children and their families.
• Purchased a fully equipped ambulance for the Clinic and the region and thereby enhanced accessibility to emergency services.
• Sponsored ALL medical expenses, transportation, room and board and hospitalization for 2-year old Daniel Mkrtchyan from Svarantz with 4th degree burns on his back and lower extremities.
• Christmas Porject 2010- Supplied food to the 159 socially disadvantaged families in Shinuhayr to sustain them for 2.5 months.
Our team is now assessing the appropriate next steps to maintain our support to Shinuhayr and the nearby 7 villages. Dental care has been the latest topic in December. Many of the villagers do not have the luxury to travel to the city to find dentists nor can they afford the costs. The proposed idea is to open a dental clinic in one of the health posts to service the population of 6,500. A dental clinic however, is very expensive. The total estimated cost for supplies is $12,000 and $5,000 to repair one of the rooms. This is a primitive and vague idea thus far and requires further research, assessment and fundraising to bring to fruition. More information about this potential endeavor will be shared in due time.
RMF continues the distribution of pharmaceuticals to the many of the first aid posts, and the number of beneficiaries significantly increased in the month of December. More people have been taking advantage of the project and many are making routine doctor visits a “very good habit”. The ambulance purchased by RMF in October 2010 has also been a great source of transporting the sick to our primary health clinic or the nearest health posts; it is also used to transfer doctors from one location to the next when necessary.
One of the Project goals in 2010 was to give children their proper vaccinations and to educate parents about the importance of getting their children vaccinated.
The table above shows a total of 90 children being vaccinated in the month of December. Even though there was a slight decrease from November (148 children vaccinated), overall, RMF had a very successful 2010 vaccinating a total of 504 children.
During the month of December 134 units of medicines were prescribed to 73 beneficiaries of which 16.5% were children between the ages of 0-17; 12.3% between 18-34 and 71% over 35 years of age. Fifty six percent were female and 44% were male. 29% of the total prescriptions were for Heart health; 24% in Anti-Inflammatories and Anti-Pyretics; 10% Respiratory; 10% Other such as (eye drops, anti-emetics, cold medicine etc.); 9% Antibiotics; 7% Anti-Histamine; 4% Topical Anasthetics, also 4% Diabetic medications and finally 3% Supplies. When compared to categories of drugs distributed in the previous six months, the percentages remain similar and Heart Health almost always remains the largest prescribed category, validating the 2002 World Health Organization’s data which reports Cardiovascular Disease (54%) as the leading cause of death in Armenia.
In December 2010, our team studied the village of Tatev with a population of 970. Similar to the other communities in the region, the most common diseases reported in this village were high blood pressure (36); cardiovascular disease (11) and diabetes (5). Children are found to suffer from anemia and women mostly have rheumatism. These numbers are strictly from those patients registered with the health post. There may be many others who have yet to visit a doctor.
Next, our team visited the Tandzatap community. Sine those living in Tandzatap tend to visit the Tatev post, our team followed them there. On the day of our visit, adults and children were lined up and patiently waiting to be seen by the local physician. The doctor examined fifteen people waiting to be seen that day. Two of the fifteen (13%) were men suffering from cardiovascular disease. The children who were there had seasonal influenza. Most of the female patients were found to have spinal deformation, which the doctor explained was caused by harsh physical labor. This is also one of the reasons why the prevalence of rheumatism was very common among these women. Our team provided the physician with the recommended pharmaceuticals to supply the patients he had seen. We were overwhelmed and were very touched by the gratitude, hugs and tears of those patients. The work really speaks for itself.
Tsaghik Melkumyan, 75 years of age was seen at the Tatev post and diagnosed with severe rheumatism. She now receives her monthly medications from RMF to manage her medical condition and to alleviate her pain.
Again from Tatev, Hmayak Milkayelyan was seen by the doctor for heart complications and was then supplied with the appropriate medications to manage his disease. He was very moved by the RMF team. He could not come up with words to describe his gratitude. Our team felt his appreciation as he collected himself, swallowed his tears and deeply gazed at the team members and the medical staff.
Real Medicine Foundation is not only concerned about a region’s current status but also their future wellbeing. RMF assures that there is a continuum of care with all our patients we service in our projects throughout the world. This is why our team on the ground provides systematic follow-ups every month, specifically with parents who have young children. Our team contacts mothers to remind them about the importance of childhood vaccinations. Nurses and medical staff also call parents to inquire about the health of their children and family members and if they need further aid or assistance. Each month those who suffer from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are brought in to be examined and to receive their monthly medications. Those patients who are unable to make their monthly visit to the hospital are seen by the doctor who then makes a house-call using the RMF ambulance.
RMF services and our consistent follow-ups are raising a consciousness in this population about the importance of preventative care. Patients are increasingly learning to seek medical attention and are taking advantage of a program that is most willing to give them aid, which otherwise they simply would not be able to afford.
The Financial states of the villagers still remain the same. The socially disadvantaged continue to struggle to make ends meet. Unemployment rates are high and villagers cannot afford to grow crops in their lands, instead they find alternatives by selling their farm animals. Others do physical labor work around communities to earn some source of income. As mentioned in the past, many young adults leave these villages and travel to the city to find jobs, leaving behind the elderly or young children who become the most vulnerable.
Real Medicine Foundation stands strong to help these vulnerable individuals and promises to continue to help meet their healthcare needs.