YEREVAN, Armenia – From June to September 2017, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) implemented a comprehensive eye screening program among socially disadvantaged children, the elderly and disabled adults living in Shirak and Lori regions.
The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited and treated patients at several locations, including a Gyumri retirement center, home to 160 older people, the Armenian Caritas NGO in Vanadzor, which serves around 100 older and disabled adults that live alone, the Poqrik Ishkhan social center in Vanadzor serving around 60 socially disadvantaged children and their family members, and a Vanadzor orphanage, home to 52 children. A total of 180 older and disabled adults, 103 children and 64 family members participated in the detailed eye screenings.
The Meghrigian Institute distributed spectacles and medication to those in need. Two hundred and twenty spectacles were distributed to those diagnosed with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Medical assistance was provided for 41 people who were diagnosed with eye diseases including infection and allergic conjunctivitis, retinal dystrophy, blepharitis and keratoconus. Those who had additional eye conditions needing hospital care were referred to specialized centers for more detailed examinations.
The AUA Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.