Since 2005, UMCOR Armenia has been successfully implementing a U.S. Department of State funded Small Reconstruction Project. The project aims at creating proper conditions in health facilities in rural areas for providing quality health care services to the population.
During 2005-2012, 13 health facilities in three regions (Armavir, Ararat, and Kotayk) were renovated. As a result of the implemented activities, targeted communities received clinics with improved sanitary conditions allowing the health facilities to comply with hygiene standards. The community’ members started receiving medical care in new, pleasant and clean environment; the attractiveness of the facilities increased number of patients’ visits.
Renovation of Merdzavan Ambulatory Clinic
The distance from Yerevan to the village Merdzavan in Armavir Marz is only 13 km. The proximity to the capital gives the false impression of the community’s well-being and absence of difficulties, which leads to a lack of attention from many state and non-governmental organizations.
“Although the village is situated in the immediate proximity to the capital, it does not make the community more protected, healthier, and wealthier,” says Dr. Seryozha Mkrtchyan, a head of Merdzavan Ambulatory Clinic. “Of course, our community has many different problems. However, since I am in charge of the residents’ health care, my great concern was the absence of appropriate working conditions in the ambulatory clinic which hindered the medical staff from serving in full capacity,” he continues. “Because of the leaky roof and poor heat insulation, in the course of time the clinic changed into a very uncomfortable place to work. Damp rooms, walls and ceilings covered in mold, damaged parquet floors are words to describe our previous clinic. A very unhealthy climate for a health facility! Besides, it was a real challenge to run a dental room and laboratory because of the absence of running water and sewerage,” he adds. “Thanks to the joint operations of UMCOR and our village municipality, Merdzavan Ambulatory Clinic is now a fully functioning, proper health facility. The light and cozy conditions of our new clinic are pleasing for both the medical staff and our patients,” Dr. Mkrtchyan smiles.
Nazeni Gevorgyan, a family nurse, vividly recalls the times when the clinic was like an “inaccessible fortress” because of the awkward and hazardous doorway to the clinic and a steep and shaky flight of stairs. “As a joke, we called our clinic ’Fort Boyard’ since it always was a risky adventure to go up and down the staircase,” she laughs. ”But to speak frankly, it caused serious troubles for us and our patients. Many of them, especially hypertensive patients, kept complaining about feeling worse every time when they had to overcome that dangerous passage. That’s why we appreciate so much our new working conditions and are very grateful to both UMCOR and the village municipality for their mutual collaboration and contribution that resulted in such a successful change, which I’d say is ’a new life’ for our clinic,” she says.
The improved conditions of the clinic create a safe and appropriate environment for keeping medicines and medical supplies delivered by the health facility in the framework of the DOS funded Medical Commodity Distribution program.