The 12th Armenian Medical World Congress was held in Buenos Aires over a span of four days: May 31 to June 3. The event hosted Armenian healthcare specialists from all over the world as they discussed the most recent and important improvements in all health areas.

It was made clear during the congress that the healthcare sector in rural and underprivileged areas of Armenia has undergone significant changes in the recent past to increase its impact on the most vulnerable, like preschool children. FAR’s very own Dr. Hambardzum Simonyan – the FAR Health Program Director – attended the Congress and shared FAR’s expertise in both healthcare and continuing medical education. The keystone of his speech during a plenary session were the public health and nutrition programs implemented within the scope of the FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP)* that focuses on the Tavush region.

Dr. Simonyan began his speech with a case study of the malnutrition program implemented in the town of Berd and its surrounding villages. “BCPP is a great program for community rehabilitation which has three main directions: a) the improvement of preschool children’s nutrition; b) healthcare service development; and c) trainings and seminars for parents. Prior to the program launch we consulted with our colleagues from Columbia University based in New York and only then started the program with a baseline study that included anthropometric and blood hemoglobin measurements to understand the real reasons and consequences of undernutrition among the preschool children. The next year we did the same measurements among fertile-age women. Along with the study, we also started the balanced food provision to preschool children in the kindergartens of Berd and the surrounding villages. Over the course of four years after the program launch, we have registered positive results based on the control study results. However, we need to continue the program to achieve sustainable developments,” said Hambardzum Simonyan, adding that BCPP will continue for five more years, through 2022.

Dr. Simonyan also touched upon updates on FAR’s Continuing Medical Education (CME)* program and a presentation on modern treatment of wound therapy prepared by CME Director Dr. Gevorg Yaghjyan. “During the Four Day War in April, FAR received many emails from concerned Armenians offering their assistance. “What to do?” “How to help?” Among the concerned citizens was the renowned doctor Gevorg Yaghjyan who confirmed my view that the most important thing for now is to get a wound care treatment machine. So, we started to work on the approach with different organizations – diaspora, commercial, charities, etcetera. Thanks to our colleagues’ relentless efforts from Boston and their donations, the machine was acquired and FAR implemented the logistics, the distribution, and the trainings for the proficient healthcare specialists of the hosting clinical centers in Armenia and Artsakh,” said Dr. Simonyan. He then shared the most recent methods of wound care treatment and the provision of wound therapy machines during the April War in Artsakh, in 2016.

The healthcare specialists highlighted the importance of participating in the Congress since. According to feedback, participants appreciated gathering with colleagues gathered from all over the world with a common bond – to exchange their knowledge and expertise while sharing updated information, including the challenges facing healthcare.

*Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) is a multidimensional FAR project addressing child poverty in the region of Tavush, sponsored by the Edward and Helen Mardigian Foundation.
*The Continuing Medical Education Program in Artsakh is a FAR project sponsored by the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization.