Armenia: Shinuhayr Clinic Progress Report
Shinuhayr Clinic Update
A large number of medicines and medical supplies were distributed in the month of April. Aside from those individuals involved in the project and those who receive their monthly medications through RMF, there was also a larger influx of patients who came to RMF to be treated for other acute illnesses, such as respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, asthma, and tonsillitis. The diseases that the majority of the population in the Syunik region suffers from remain to be cardiovascular ailments, hypertensive and rheumatic disorders.
In April 2011, 25 personal house calls were made. The local physician, using the RMF ambulance visited six different villages in this time period.
The table above lists the ambulance house call services. The majority of the patients suffered from high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, strokes and stomach ulcers.
A special focus area of RMF Armenia is the healthcare of children. The table below shows a combined total of 28 children who got vaccinated in the month of April 2011.
Children getting Vaccinations:
Case Story: Mariam Tevosyan
One girl that RMF Armenia is reaching out to is Mariam Tevosyan. In February 2011, Mariam and her parents came into one of our health posts for a consultation. The mother, Tsaghik, with tears in her eyes, told us about her daughter’s situation. Mariam has spinal deformation and deals with a lot of difficulties as well as chronic pain.
After the consultation at the health post, Mariam was sent to the Goris Hospital for x-rays. From there, she was then sent to Yerevan for additional exams where she was diagnosed with “right side spinal curvature of 4th degree (60 degrees)”. Mariam was recommended to undergo physical therapy and exercises. She was also prescribed to wear a special medical corset.
On February 14th, an orthopedic surgeon from the Yerevan Arabkir Medical Center explained that a spinal operation would be her best option for treatment. This operation however, must be postponed for at least two years until Mariam’s physical development is complete. Until then, it is recommended that she continue to wear the medical corset and report for physical examinations every four months.
Having two other children and an ailing grandmother in their household, it has been financially difficult for Mariam’s unemployed parents to keep up with medical expenses. This family receives 191 USD in family benefits, which barely covers any of Mariam’s medical bills.
Mariam’s corset is estimated to cost between 6 to 120,000 AMD, or even up to 720,000 AMD. X-rays are estimated to cost anywhere from 12,000 AMD to 84,000 AMD. Medical consultations for six visits may cost from 10,000 AMD to 60,000 AMD. Traveling expenses for six visits are estimated to cost 16,000 AMD to 96,000 AMD. These expenses are significantly above the family’s means and the amount of money this family receives in financial aids, which is why Mariam and her family have turned to RMF for help.
Mariam’s dream is to become a singer one day. She also loves to participate in normal activities with young teens her age. She loves making new friends, singing, reading, and playing computer games. Unfortunately, it remains a challenge to be optimistic when faced with her disability and pain. It becomes exceedingly difficult for Mariam to fit in and feel like she belongs in her social circle. She is embarrassed when her peers at school see her in such conditions, especially when she has to wear a medical corset and has no way of hiding it. She has said she prefers winter days because that way she can layer clothes and hide her corset.
When things get difficult at home, both parents usually help Mariam with all types of chores and daily routines. Even though Mariam has a lot of help from her parents, she says she feels as if she is a burden to her family. Mariam has been feeling that she has been weighing her family down financially, emotionally and physically. She feels guilty for having to put them through such difficult times.
This is where RMF hopes to drastically improve the quality Mariam’s life. In April 2011, Dr. Martina Fuchs visited Armenia and Mariam. Ever since Dr. Fuchs’s visit, Mariam has had a change of views in her condition. Her confidence has improved and her spirit has gotten brighter. She now believes that there is hope that one day she can be free of her physical constrains and be ridden of the pain she struggles with. Dr. Fuchs’s visit has given Mariam a whole new perspective, but most importantly, hope.