ARS Akhurian Mother & Child Health Center and University of Nice Sign Agreement to Work on Health Care, Medical-Technical Projects

WATERTOWN, Mass–The Armenian Relief Society’s Mother & Child Health Center in Akhurian, Armenia has signed a cooperative agreement with the University of Nice to formalize recent efforts between the institutions to work together on health care and medical-technical projects.
The ARS Mother & Child Health Center and the French university established informal relations in September 2006 when the University donated a CAT scan machine to the Health Center. The ARS Mother & Child Health Center’s CAT scan machine is one of only a few in Armenia and has provided great benefits to the residents of the 1988 Armenian earthquake zone, who had to travel to Yerevan for CAT scan tests prior to the donation.
Instrumental in arranging for the CAT scan machine donation and the signing of the cooperation agreement was Dr. Samson O.Z. Ararat, President of the SOS Armenia Association Cote d’Azur, France.
“We are very pleased with the formalization of our developing relationship with the University of Nice to bring new ideas and training to our staff at the ARS Mother & Child Health Center,” said ARS, Inc. Central Executive Board Chairwoman Hasmig Derderian.
“We are especially thankful for the participation of Dr. Ararat for helping bring about this cooperative agreement,” she added.
The cooperative agreement will include exchange programs between professionals and students in the fields of obstetrics, pediatrics, and radiology; nurses in the areas of hygiene and hospital-acquired infections; and biomedical engineers in the area of medical equipment maintenance, as well as training sessions at the ARS Mother & Child Health Center in the areas of neonatology and obstetrics.
In addition to the exchange programs and training sessions, collaborative programs will be initiated involving pediatrics, infectious diseases, laboratories, radiology, and medical equipment maintenance.
ARS Mother & Child Health Center General Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan looks forward to the cooperation agreement’s increasing implementation in 2008. Already under the cooperative agreement, University biomedical engineers have provided advice to ARS Health Center staff in the use of the CAT scan machine.
The ARS Mother & Child Health Center opened in 1997 to serve families living in the Akhurian region, which was devastated by a 1988 earthquake that killed an estimated 25,000 men, women and children. Since its opening, the ARS Mother & Child Health Center has expanded to include a birthing wing, which opened in April 2005 and has seen the healthy births of over 2,700 babies as of December 31, 2007.
The Armenian Relief Society, Inc. has entities in 23 countries and will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2010. For nearly 100 years, the ARS has served the Armenian people and others through its many respected humanitarian programs. For more information about the ARS, the ARS Mother & Child Health Center, or other ARS programs, visit the ARS, Inc.’s website at www.ars1910.org; e-mail execdirector@ars1910.org; write to ARS, Inc. Central Office, 80 Bigelow Ave., Watertown, MA 02472; or telephone (617) 926-5892.

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