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Second Lecture Session in Series on Health Takes Place in Armenia

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Second Lecture Session in Series on Health Takes Place in Armenia

Exploring Avenues to Community Health Worker Training

By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Elizabeth Fine

WiRED International reports that a second lecture session in the series “Health Is the Key to Well-Being” took place February 29 to March 2 at the “Emili Aregak” Center in Gyumri, Armenia.

In a fall 2023 web story, WiRED announced that a group of Armenian physicians and NGOs were exploring opportunities to begin community health worker (CHW) training in Armenia. The next step towards this goal resulted in the first lecture session in the series, held September 11-20 in Etchmiadzin, Armenia. The series will be in five parts, each encompassing several topics,  and will occur in cities all over Armenia where partner organizations are planning to begin training.

The initial 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 ultimate goal is to prepare teams of Armenian CHWs using WiRED’s evidence-based curriculum now available globally in English, Spanish and Ukrainian.

Sebouh Baghdoyan, Director WiRED–Armenia

WiRED–Armenia director project coordinator Sebouh Baghdoyan reported that the Miasin NGO, in collaboration with WiRED International and the Armenian Caritas NGO, organized the latest set of lectures. Participants included individuals aged 18-70 with diverse expertise, such as healthcare professionals, educators, students and workers in the social and public health sectors.

Dr. Sevak Papoyan, Doctor and Dentist

The lecture sessions covered various WiRED health modules, including cancer prevention, pediatric diseases and mental health. Experts such as neurologist Dr. Sevak Papoyan and public health specialist Dr. Arman Aghikyan presented information on eight prevalent health conditions in Armenia.

Arman Aghikyan, Public Health Specialist

The closing session featured a discussion on “Mental Health and Depression” by Luisa Mardoyan, the mental health coordinator at the primary prevention center of Armenian Caritas.

Mr. Baghdoyan thanked the collaborating organizations and urged participants to actively engage in spreading the acquired knowledge in their respective communities. The lecture series concluded with participants receiving certificates of attendance.

Luisa Martoyan

WiRED will continue to post web stories as we chart the progress of the path to training WiRED CHWs in Armenia — a dire need in view of the obstacles faced by the country today (see sidebar).

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.