FAR stays focused on child protection not only through its childcare programs but through each and every program and project possible. Health care is no exception and one of the ways FAR inserts child protection into these programs is by including more regional pediatricians in our Continuing Medical Education program (CME) that enables them to learn new skills and update their knowledge to provide better services in the regions of Armenia and in Artsakh.

Each month we have at least one pediatrician undergo training in the best clinics of Yerevan. Dr. Varduhi Kurghinyan is one such pediatrician. Already three times a CME beneficiary, Dr. Varduhi is from Abovyan city, Kotayq region. She was first a CME beneficiary in 2007, then again in 2011, and she didn’t miss her chance this year either, opting to undertake a training at Arabkir Medical Center.

“I have learned a lot. Physicians here answer all my questions. My last two trainings were in Muratsan Medical center, but this time I have chosen this clinic to also learn the European approach of pediatrics,” said Dr. Varduhi. “The CME trainings are not only important to update knowledge and learn new things but also for networking that further help you in work.”

Dr. Karine Simonyan is a first-time CME beneficiary. A pediatrician in Kovsakan, Artsakh, she was encouraged to apply to FAR’s CME training by Artsakh’s Ministry of Health. “I feel more comfortable as expenses and accommodation are provided and I can concentrate on training for a whole month. During one month I acquired a lot as in this clinic the number of diseases and the geography is greatly diverse and it helps to gain better knowledge,” said Dr. Karine.

Kovsakan is a city in one of the most remote regions in Artsakh and Dr. Karine’s training will be crucial in bringing new approaches to the ground. “It is not easy to work in regions like that as you are the only one and whatever decision you make, whatever treatment plan you choose you are the number one responsible person,” added the doctor. She serves more than 1000 children from 22 villages in a region that’s considered to be one of the poorest in Artsakh, where infrastructure is very poor and services are limited. Dr. Karine uses two pairs of shoes, one pair to get to work as the roads are quite muddy and one pair to wear at work, which stay clean.

“I am the only doctor for the children there, so we need to find ways to overcome all difficulties,” she said. Her colleague, Dr. Gohar Melkonyan, is from the Masis Polyclinic which serves more than 900 children.

“One of my colleagues suggested to apply to CME and I am thankful to her. All my expectations were met, I learned new schemes of treatments, gained new knowledge and met many patients which I would say were crucial for practice during trainings,” Dr. Gohar said.

“The experience exchange was also important, everything was explained in an easy way, and I will for sure use what I learned for diagnosis and treatments,” she added.

Every month for 11 years now, CME has assisted with training more than 750 physicians from Armenia’s regions and Artsakh. At FAR, we know that a healthy Armenia is a happy Armenia. The more our CME trainings provide excellent medical care to the youngest generation, the more they can do in the future!