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MSF in Armenia, 2001
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First MSF Patient Cured of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis
Over the last few years, MSF work in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (an autonomous republic in Azerbaijan that is home to many Armenians) has focused on improving the living conditions of mental health patients, offering psychological and medical support to institutionalized children, treating tuberculosis (TB), and improving reproductive health.
First MDR-TB Patient Cured
June 2001 marked the first cure of a patient treated for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in MSF's TB program in Nagorno-Karabakh. For patients suffering from the non-resistant form of TB, patient care and staff training at the Stepanakert TB clinic has boosted the cure rate to 82%. MSF also screens for the disease at the Stepanakert Psychiatric Hospital and the prison in Souchi.
Through August 2000, MSF worked to refurbish the Stepanakert Psychiatric Hospital and trained local nurses, teachers, and school directors to care for and recognize outpatient mental health disorders.
Sevan Psychiatric Program Draws to a Close
In summer 2001, MSF withdrew from the Sevan Psychiatric Hospital in northern Armenia, after three years of work. MSF rehabilitated the facilities, trained staff, and introduced recreational activities in an effort to improve living conditions and reduce the hospitalization period for the hospital's 406 patients. MSF expects to begin a new mental health project in Armenia, this time with a focus on outpatient care.
In the province of Tavush, MSF offers women of reproductive age access to family planning and information on contraception. This project will be handed over to the public health authorities in December 2001.
In Yerevan, the Armenian capital, MSF has added direct outreach to children living in the streets to its ongoing program of medical and psychosocial care for young people placed in the Vardashan Institute, a facility for children in difficulty.
MSF has been active in Armenia since 1988 and in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1989.