To improve medical care and educational conditions in some of Armenia’s most vulnerable border communities FAR has expanded the healthcare component of our Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) to the Ijevan and Noyemberyan regions of Tavush Province.

Four rural medical clinics and six kindergartens received support in March thanks to BCPP’s expansion. Kindergartens in the villages of Bagratashen, Getahovit, Berkaber, Ptghavan and two in Koghb, received new furniture, air conditioners, kitchen equipment, and bedding. Medical clinics in Getahovit, Sev Kar, Voskevan and Berdavan villages received EKG machines, tonometers, glucometer strips, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and nebulizers.

Dr. Geghap Pirumyan, a cardiologist, is Director of the Primary Health Care Center in Getahovit Village. He has twice participated in FAR’s Continuing Medical Education Program (CME) during 2009 and 2014. He emphasized the importance of having an EKG machine at the Center. Previously, people in Ijevan, Getahovit, and Yenokavan had to go to Yerevan to receive more specialized treatment for issues like heart disease and high blood pressure, he explained. That has changed with the new EKG machine.

“We now will be able to check 10-15 patients a day, if needed,” he said.

Dr. Susanna Tandilyan, Director of Berdavan Medical Unit, said these devices have a huge impact on her center, which serves a population of 3,100. This equipment increases the quality of their care, and also helps to reduce the number of trips patients must take to Yerevan and medical facilities in other provinces for the treatment they were previously unable to obtain in their home area.

“While the state is able to finance us for some of our most minimal needs, it’s still not enough for us to operate as required. So the assistance from FAR really makes our job easier. Our current EKG recorder is from 2005. It is outdated and has been repaired several times, thus having a new one is very important and very much needed,” Dr. Tandilyan said.

FAR Healthcare Programs Director Dr. Hambardzum Simonyan noted that the long-term objective of BCPP is to help beneficiaries become more self-sustaining.

“We are guided by the same principle when implementing health care programs. With the nutrition component, we provide kindergartens with necessary furniture and materials to promote more sanitary conditions and better nutrition, and for medical units the needed tools and equipment,” Hambardzum said. “Our strategic objective is to improve the physical abilities and professional qualities of the healthcare units and schools of the border communities.”