It’s amazing what some of Armenia’s doctors are able to work with. Today, while visiting several medical centers in and around Yerevan I was able to see where the physicians participating in this month’s Continuing Medical Education Program are based. Walking through neonatology wards and intensive care units, I heard a few stories about their home institutions.
One anesthesiologist must observe through facial expression and movement how her patients under anesthesia react during surgery because her hospital in Vanadzor doesn’t have all of the proper monitoring equipment. Another neonatologist is one of a team of two who must care for the 30 infants who come to her hospital every month. Her hospital also lacks proper equipment and they are simply unable to transport these children to Yerevan in the case of severe emergencies. And then there are other obstacles, like no electricity, no running water, etc.
I’ve seen similar conditions in other parts of the world. But hearing these stories, no matter how brief, still leaves me incredulous and also awestruck by these doctors’ dedication and resourcefulness. Things need to continue to change, however. The CME program gives them the opportunity to spend a month training with leading specialists in Yerevan. And they can learn new methods and establish a network with their mentors that they can use in the future. CME is making strides with healthcare in this country and with a waiting list of more than 100 people, demand for it is high. With more support it can be expanded, and all of Armenia will continue to benefit as that expansion happens.