Monday, May 15, 2006

Project Background

Here is a short summary of the country's current situation:
Armenia is in the transition to the democratic and market oriented society. The major implications of modern health challenges for health care reform are: a shift from curative to preventive care with an emphasis on well-being of the population; a shift of the funds from secondary and tertiary care to primary care; as well as emphasis on motivation of individuals, families and communities to adopt healthy lifestyles and accept responsibility for health.

Until recently, Armenia's healthcare system, which developed as part of the Soviet-planned system, could be seen as a planned public service provided by the state, with all health personnel being state employees. The system was highly centralized and standardized. Services were free to patients, provided in state-owned facilities, and financed mostly by the state budget. The Soviet health care system was successful in providing access to comprehensive health services for most of the country's population, including those who resided in rural and remote areas. However, maintaining such a system required substantial and continuous budgetary support and enormous manpower resources and managerial skills. The system deteriorated of late, largely due to the political and economic turmoil that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union.

After the collapse, the GDP fell by as much as 50 percent and funding to the health sector decreased to about 1 to 3 percent of the GDP. This led to declines in life expectancy, increased morbidity, mortality, poor conditions in hospitals and other facilities and decreased quality of care. This situation, as well as the guarantee of free basic health care in the 1995 Constitution, prompted the country to search for other ways to fund health services. In 1997, the government-run health care institutions began a process of privatization, resulting in the re-registration of the state institutions into closed joint-stock companies, run as for-profit business organizations but managed by the government.

The major causes of death in Armenia are similar to those of industrialized countries: cardiovascular disease, cancer and accidents. The insufficiency of the health industry mirrors the decline in the country's socioeconomic condition as people are increasingly unable to pay medical costs. The search for alternative health care systems as well as a means to finance the health care system has become a difficult political issue; health care reform has become a priority for many.

Enter the Peace Corps.

In 2000, PC/Armenia joined the efforts of a number of other international organizations in the country to assist health care reforms and the development of primary health care, in particular, by launching the Community Health Education (CHE) project. This is what I hope to do during the next few years.

The CHE Project's purpose:
By the end of 2010, 50,000 people in the communities throughout Armenia will have increased awareness of why public health is important to them, and will practice preventive health measures achieving improved health due to social organization, skill development and behavior change.

The project's goals include: community assessment, community education, and capacity and sustainability.


Anonymous said...

Sarah... this doesn't say where you will be. Let us know and what we can send to you to help you and the folks you are working with.

Love ... Uncle Nick

Anonymous said...

Very informational Sarah! We look forward to following along. Ditto to Uncle Nick's comments.

Aunt Tree & Uncle Paul

M.M.S. said...

Es maravilloso, Sarah! Guess who :)

Sarah said...

Dear Uncle Nick, I don't know where I'll be. I don't currently have an address for my training or my official site for service. I'll get you everything as soon as I know. I love you!

Rebecca said...

Good Luck Sarah! If you need anything please just let Tigran and I know. His family will be more than happy to help you with anything you need while in Armenia! Hopefully we will see you there in a year!

Anonymous said...

I haven't actually read the info yet. I'll get to it. I just wanted to write to say I have a book that you should read. I haven't read it all yet. So I will mail it to you in Armenia. Don't forget to call me about when you want to meet this week.


Anonymous said...

Wow cool! A real live blog! I sure do love you. Thanks for the info on Armenia. :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This sounds terrific, Sarah. If anyone can make a difference for the Armenian people, it's you! Can't wait to hear about all that you achieve there. :)
~Lara from FM

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah: Looks interesting, I am going to blog the heck out of you. Love, Grandma & Grandpa Hoffer

Anonymous said...

SarBear: This is your grandfather speaking. You behave yourself young lady or I will come & turn you over my knee. Love, GPH

Anonymous said...

Sarah...this will be fun to follow you around Armenia. Hopefully you can convert them all to NonSmokers:)

Judy Bridger said...

It will be quite interesting to follow you on your adventure through your blog. Thanks for sharing this with me.

"Momma" Judy

Pastor Jim said...

Sarah ... and the people of Armenia who are about to be gifted by you ... how excited we are for you. We'll be praying regularly for you at LOL ... knowing that God is so very real and present in our lives. Peace be with you ... and all Sarah's friends and family while you are apart.
Pastor Jim

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support to the Armenian people. the world still needs persons like you Sarah ... Mouhcine

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarbear Z!
We just fed your Mom & Dad dinner and now are waiting for your Dad to bring in a fish from the pond. Hope you are safe and happy! Love, UT and AL

Anonymous said...

It appears you are having problems with your e-mail. Is it best to send you info r/e this blog? Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Sarah: This is your grandma & grandpa H. speaking. We miss you also; but your mother & dad are taking good care of things on the home front. We are praying for you to have a successful adventure in Armenia and we are sure our prayers will be answered positively. You will learn to enjoy the fruits of your efforts and it will be rewarding to you. We will write to you again soon. Love, Grandma & Grandpa H.