Keeping Covid in Check in ArmeniaPublished: Oct 11, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
In addition to supporting immediate needs of the displaced people from Nagorno Karabakh, People in Need (PIN) has implemented many activities in Armenia designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in rural and urban settings. As part of the USAID-funded “Multi-sectoral emergency assistance to vulnerable populations affected by the conflict in Armenia” project, we conducted a needs assessment in 45 medical institutions in Armenia, as well as in shelters and hotels hosting displaced people. In addition, PIN provided training on infection control and hygiene essentials for more than 350 people following the examination of epidemic conditions and infection controls.
On top of public awareness campaigns, PIN provided items for sanitization and infection prevention (such as liquid soap, rubber gloves, masks, face shields, disposable scrubs, and hand sanitizer).
The project was aimed at supporting health care institutions and temporary shelters in Armenia as they work to bring the pandemic under control. We are working in close collaboration with the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NDCP), which is part of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, as well as epidemiologists from around the country.
Shoghik Avetisyan, a doctor from the Department of Epidemiology of Infectious and Non-Infectious Diseases, says that “the Ministry of Health has been carrying out activities aimed at infection control during the previous several years, however, this project has its unique place particularly for including new target groups. Some of those target groups are in regional polyclinics, primary healthcare centres, and health facilities in Armavir, Ararat, Kotayk, Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Vayots Dzor, Tavush, and Syunik. Prior to our intervention, medical staff in these facilities had not received a sufficient amount of training and lacked adequate hygiene items. For instance, many healthcare facilities did not have sufficient personal protective equipment or sanitizers before receiving supplies as part of the PIN project. The activities implemented as part of this project have been used by relevant authorities to strengthen the capacity of regional health institutions”.
Among the recommendations suggested by project staff was the adaptation of international healthcare standards for local conditions. The project also stressed the continuation of training for medical staff members to ensure that infection control best-practices are adhered to. Avetisyan adds that there is an ongoing need to educate families of patients on how to prevent Covid-19’s spread.
The “Multi-sectoral emergency assistance to vulnerable populations affected by the conflict in Armenia” project was funded by USAID and implemented by PIN in Armenia. The most pressing needs of about 10,000 beneficiaries were addressed in the form of health kits and bedding. Some 45 institutions in 8 regions of Armenia and Yerevan were supported with special items to encourage public health maintenance activities and infection prevention.