Community Health Worker RelatedCurrent YearGlobal HealthInfectious DiseaseNoncommunicable Disease

Lecture Series on Health Continues in Armenia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Elizabeth Fine

WiRED International reports that the third and fourth lecture sessions in the series “Health Is the Key to Well-Being” took place on May 8 and May 11, 2024, in the Armenian cities of Chkalovka and Sisian, respectively.

WiRED Armenia organized and conducted the third and fourth lecture sessions in partnership with the Miasin NGO, “Foundation for Community Development” in Chkalovka, and with a second NGO called,  “Preventive Health Services in Sisian.”

As described by WiRED Armenia director, Sebouh Baghdoyan,

The primary goal of the lecture series is to promote public health awareness, empower the healthcare community and enhance the knowledge of frontline workers in the healthcare sector. The overall aim of the lecture series is to contribute to WiRED’s efforts to train community health workers here in Armenia, using the organization’s modules that focus on public health and primary healthcare preparation.

These lectures were attended by approximately 100 participants each, ages 18 through 70, including experts in a variety of academic fields, parish priests, healthcare professionals, educators, lecturers and representatives from social, public and community organizations.

For both lectures, cardiologist Dr. Vahe Harutyunyan (see sidebar) presented using several of WiRED’s widely distributed healthcare-educational modules translated into Armenian. Topics included introduction to cancer, thyroid diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and infectious diseases.

The lectures concluded with participants receiving certificates of attendance and answering a final questionnaire to evaluate the outcome of the lectures. Participant’s positive responses demonstrated that the series of lectures helped them:

  • to be more aware of their health problems,
  • to monitor their health carefully and
  • to consult a doctor immediately in case of early symptoms.

Mr. Baghdoyan reported that the desire of participants to address local health problems is encouraging. The vast majority of them expressed their willingness to continue this mission together with us and recommended that this program be continued. Most of the participants believe that all the modules of the delivered lecture series contributed to the improvement of their knowledge. Participants from both the Chkalovka and Sisian events also recommended a long list of health topics of interest drawn from WiRED modules for future lecture sessions.

The next session in the lecture series is planned to take place in Vanadzor, Armenia on September 22, 2024. WiRED will continue to report on future events and progress in Armenia as experts and local citizens work together to boost public health knowledge and establish a WiRED community health worker program in Armenia.

Comments from Dr. Vahe Harutyunyan, Cardiologist and Public Health Specialist

When I received the offer to conduct courses, I immediately accepted and with great enthusiasm undertook to implement it. One of the important circumstances was that as a doctor I value not only treatment but also prevention and education.

The Golden Rule for all diseases is that the earlier we diagnose, the more effective the treatment, and, in some cases, early detection even prevents the development of the disease.

[T]he courses were held in an interactive, question-and-answer format, in a rather warm atmosphere. Taking into account the reactions of the participants, I can state that the meetings were effective and useful.

Most people wanted such meetings to be continuous and cover other health topics. One of the participants suggested implementing such courses in schools as well. In my opinion, the events were successful, and our main goal, to educate people and equip them with knowledge, was fully realized.

WiRED in Armenia

WiRED has worked in Armenia since 2012 to provide programs that allow doctors, healthcare workers and community members access to critical education to combat health issues relevant to Armenia’s underserved population. Health learning events employing WiRED’s training modules have been sponsored by WiRED-Armenia, a close partner of WiRED International on many critical community education projects. Thanks to a dedicated translation team headed by Dr. Ara Nahabidian, WiRED now offers more than 20 health education modules in the Armenian language on topics of pressing national concern.

Read more about WiRED’s history in Armenia here.

Armenia faces many obstacles today:
  • Poverty, lack of reliable medical information and an underfinanced healthcare system are creating a health crisis for the people of this Eurasian country.
  • Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge the Armenian genocide and a recent war with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh have resulted in Armenia’s troubled relationships with these neighbors.
  • Further, recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan have broken out now that Russia, Armenia’s former ally in that conflict, is distracted with the war in Ukraine.
  • Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Armenia has welcomed thousands of refugees seeking asylum, adding pressure to Armenia’s fraught healthcare system.