Study on State of Health in Armenia Issued

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The results of an extensive set of surveys and studies–conducted across Armenia in both urban and rural settlemen’s from 2000 up to 2002 on USAID funds–were publicized in Yerevan on Wednesday.

A US ORS MACRO organization and the UNICEF Armenia branch office assisted the Armenian health ministry and the national statistical service conduct the surveys–which involved some 6,500 households: 6,430 females of reproductive age and 1–719 males of 15 to 54 years old–as well as children below 5 years were included. Sixty percent of respondents were from urban settlemen’s–one third of which in the capital Yerevan.

The surveys encompassed fertility–reproductive behavior–infant and baby death rates–maternal and baby health and nutrition conditions–sexually transmitted and other infectious diseases.

The collected information provides for a detailed evaluation of the overall health situation in Armenia and revelation of those factors–which affect infants–male and female reproductive health.

The studies revealed that 13 percent of children under 5 years old are underdeveloped–three percent are heavily underdeveloped. This rate makes eight percent in Yerevan and Kotayk province–but is 32 percent in the province of Gegharkunik.

The studies also revealed that two percent of children are undernourished and three percent have low weight. The rate of anemia in Armenia is 24 percent. The percentage of anemia is two times higher with rural children (33 percent) than with urban children (16 percent). The highest rate of anemia is in Tavoush (39 percent) and the lowest in Vayots Dzor and Kotayk (11 percent). Twelve percent of Armenian females suffer from anemia.

The rate of abortions is 2.6 in Armenia–lower than in neighboring Georgia where it is 4.7 but higher than in Central Asian republics–where it is 1.4. The rate of abortions is higher in rural villages.

The rate of vaccination is satisfactory and virtually all children from 12 to 23 months old were vaccinated against various diseases.

In another survey– conducted by the Association of Women with University Education in Yerevan and eight other provinces of Armenia–showed that majority of Armenian women prefer working–even if their husbands earn enough to keep their families.

According to the survey–51 percent of women consider employment one of the most important pleasures of life–30 percent think that the only reason why women work is to support the family financially–27 percent think that it is necessary in order not to live only with family problems–and 16 percent consider working as a way of being financially independent from their husbands.

The survey also showed that 33.78 percent of people participating in the survey said that their husbands make the decisions in their families–16.76 percent said the wives make the decisions–33.78 percent husbands and wives (equally) make decisions–3.46 percent said their husband’s parents make their decisions–and 6.65 percent said that the wife’s parents make their decisions. Less than one percent said that their children have a say in the decision making process of the family.

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