Medical Outreach Teams (MOTs) - completed project
Funding: USAID, World Vision US
Project completed in 2008.
One of the main challenges of hard-to-reach communities in Armenia is the very limited access to health care. Health posts, often just a room without the necessary equipment, medicine and even staff, fail to provide adequate medical services to the population from remote areas of the country.
The roads to the villages are half ruined and almost impassible in wintertime, and many villagers remain cut off from the world for weeks. Moreover, the electricity in the villages can be cut off for days, while in winter the average temperature is -20°C with heavy snow, which creates huge problems for local doctors and medical care providers.
In 2004, World Vision started a five-year Medical Outreach Teams (MOT) project implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Support to Communities NGO. It is now operating in five Area Development Programs.
Eight trucks, fully equipped for laboratory testing and examinations, with a medical team comprised of a gynecologist, laboratory technician and ultrasound specialist together with local district doctors (general practitioners/family doctors, pediatricians) make regular monthly visits to 123 communities of Lori, Gegharkunik, Tavush, and Syunik regions providing primary healthcare to over 87,000 people.
Since the project started, over 60,000 medical consultations have been conducted for the rural population by MOTs with the participation of 79 district doctors. Some 36 rural health posts and 8 hospitals were renovated and furnished. Essential medical supplies and equipment were donated to support institutional capacity of health facilities and improve the quality of health services.
Within the frames of MOT project ten policlinics received medical books and reference materials that resulted in the creation of reference libraries in each policlinic to provide access to updated information for local doctors.
Six booklets on “Healthy Nutrition and Food Safety”, “Healthy Child Care and Nutrition”, “Sick Child Care and Nutrition”, “Healthy Lifestyle”, “Wonderful Pumpkin”, and “Common Illnesses”, leaflets on diarrhea and prevention of cervical cancer, as well as 4 types of posters have been developed, published and distributed among rural communities in 37,000 copies so far.
World Vision Armenia in cooperation with the National Institute of Health and the Ministry of Health conduct extensive training for district doctors at the sites, with an emphasis on enhancing practical skills and their application in everyday work. Currently district doctors are using medical equipment available at MOTs.
Peer education sessions on various health topics are organized for 250 community peer educators and nurses on quarterly bases. The sessions strengthen the ability of communities to identify the problem at an early stage, and recognize when medical intervention is needed. Thus, the sessions are designed to create a local pool of health knowledge that complements MOT visits.