Care to those that need it most in Shinuhayr

November 16, 2012

Stella Arzumanyan and Margarit Hovhannisyan


Accessibility to free, quality health services for children and mothers in rural Armenia is extremely limited. It is estimated that 42.9% of the country still live below the poverty line, which has led to a drop in immunization by 42% in 2006.  The Shinuhayr Primary Healthcare Clinic is the only comprehensive clinic available in the region servicing its surrounding seven villages with a population of over 6,500.  There is a great need for perinatal, pediatric, cardiovascular, infectious disease, orthopedic, and geriatric services in this region.  Approximately 352 families fall under the ‘socially vulnerable’ category and benefit from the services of RMF’s project. In addition, 256 disabled persons, 524 children ages 0-7 years and 1,382 school children ages 8-17 years, and 52 single mothers benefit from improved healthcare services.

Photo: Patient examined at the Shinuhayr clinic

Working closely with our program partner, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), RMF supports the Shinuhayr Primary Healthcare Clinic to provide the clinic with critical medicine inventories and medical supplies.  This project indirectly impacts all members of the seven communities it serves.  It directly impacts those socially vulnerable individuals, including members of large families, pensioners and children, who present with acute or chronic illnesses during a clinic or house visit.  RMF also provides these patients with free medications and makes sure that patients are followed up on by RMF staff to assure their continuum of care.  Special attention is provided to chronically ill patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.  These patients are seen every month by our nurses to assess their health status and to ensure medication compliance.

Project Objectives: 

  • Continue providing high standard medical services;
  • Extend the provision of medical services;
  • Increase the project capacity in the communities served;
  • Observe the impact of the project;
  • Promote the RMF ambulance as a tool for the community to facilitate their access to seek care;
  • Continue providing free medications to all in need, especially to chronically ill patients;
  • Cooperate with schools to identify the problems of disadvantaged children.

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

  1. Patients visiting the clinic are addressed with care and receive high quality medical services, treatmentand prescription medicine. RMF provides these patients with free medications as instructed by the doctor on their prescription.  These patients are then followed up by RMF staff to assure their continuum of care and road to recovery.
  2. To increase the project capacity, problems in each community served by our project are studied and addressed. 
  3. Each month the impact of the project has been observed and the following results were recorded:
    • Number of visits to the clinic has increased as a result of the fact that patients now receive free medication. This is substantial aid to vulnerable families, since the prices of medicine are not affordable for them. 
    • The access to free medical services improved the overall psychological situation in the communities, since people of these distant villages don’t feel isolated from the center anymore.  These positive changes impact the condition of sick patients as well and are beneficial on their road to healing.
    • Mothers more actively visit the clinic and bring their childrenfor medical examinationsand free vaccinations. The medicine distribution listindicates the increased number of children, whoreceived vitamins.                                           
  4. The medicine distribution listalso indicates the overall increase of the number of project beneficiaries, which proves the positive impact of the project.

Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries:

398 project beneficiaries including 183 vaccinated children and 215 patients treated.

Photo: Girl recieves vaccination at the Shinuhayr clinic

Home Visits:

88 total visits in July: 5 in Halidzor, 2 in Khot, 25 in Shinuhayr, 19 in Svarants, 24 in Tandzatap, 13 in Tatev

63 total visits in August: 1 in Halidzor, 2 in Khot, 37 in Shinuhayr, 11 in Svarants, 9 in Tandzatap, 3 in Tatev

64 total visits in September: 1 in Halidzor, 22 in Shinuhayr, 18 in Svarants, 1 in Tandzatap and 12 in Tatev

Medical services provided: 

  • Each month our nurses contact mothers to remind them about childhood vaccinations and inform them of the date when free vaccinations are provided at the RMF clinic.  After the children received their vaccinations, our nurses make follow-up calls to monitor the children’s health condition and intervene where help is needed.
  • Special attention is provided to chronically ill patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.  These patients are followed up each month by our nurses to assure medication compliance and assess their health status.
  • The initial medical examination of the patients is carried out at the clinic and first aid is provided.  Since the possibilities at the clinic are limited, the patientsaredirected to Goris Hospital in case further treatment is required.
  • If the patients are unable to visit the clinic, doctors reach them with the help of the RMF ambulance. 
  • Home Visits:

Success story(s) highlighting project impact: 


A 9-year-old resident of Shinuhayr, Serob Hovsepyan complained of a scratched and painful eye. He was examined in Goris and diagnosed with glaucoma. Serob Hovsepyan is the son of Vardan Hovsepyan, who suffers from epilepsy and gets medicines from our project on a monthly basis.

The little boy had to be sent to Yerevan for medical examination, but his family could not afford it.  Sponsored by Anjelina Pegruhi Demir and Banafsheh Alavian, RMF helped to take Serob to the Yerevan No. 8 Hospital, where he went through thorough examination.

Here the doctors diagnosed Serob with a spring cataract, which may lead to glaucoma if no measures are taken. The doctors provided a prescription for treatment and instructions to watch the condition carefully. 


On our way back to Goris we got a phone call from Khot village resident Laura Hayrapetyan. She has high blood pressure and at the moment she called she was in an extremely bad condition, her blood pressure was 230 and she was almost unconscious.  At that very moment RMF local staff was able to provide support to Laura and after taking medicine, she felt much better.  She still needs further treatment and is being followed up on by local staff.


Country Page: Armenia Initiative Page: Healthcare Project, Shinuhayr