Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology Dedicates Work in Memory of Gloria Meghrigian

In December of 2016, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) embarked on a new project to provide eye care to diabetic patients in the Tavush province of Armenia. The project was dedicated to the late Gloria Meghrigian, wife of Garo Meghrigian, who passed in 2016. In lieu of flowers, Ms. Meghrigian’s daughter, Anahid Boulanikian, asked friends and family to donate to her parent’s legacy, the American University of Armenia’s Meghrigian Institute. The $1,810 gifted in memoriam allowed the project to be expanded past the initial towns of Dilijan, Ijevan, Berd and Noyemberyan to the border villages of Voskevan, Ptghavan, Koghb, Berdavan, Haghtanak, Bagratashen, Voskepar, Debetavan, Koti and Baghanis.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology Works with Schoolchildren in Artsakh

Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) conducted a project aimed at reducing the incidence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment among school children living in Kashatagh from fall 2016 to March 2017. Kashatagh is one of the eight provinces of Artsakh and the largest by area.  The living conditions and the situation in the health sector in Kashatagh are among the harshest in Artsakh.

The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited Berdzor, Tsaghkaberd, Urekan, and Martunashen to carry out eye screenings among schoolchildren.  Meghrigian Institute selected five schools from the list of schools in Kashatagh taking into account the number of children enrolled in each school.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology has published an article in the Journal of Ophthalmic Epidemiology

Aida Giloyan, MPH, Research Associate of Meghrigian Institute, Tsovinar Harutyunyan, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor at Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health, and Varduhi Petrosyan, MS, PhD, Professor and Dean of the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health recently published an article “Risk Factors for Developing Myopia among Schoolchildren in Yerevan and Gegharkunik province, Armenia” in the Journal of Ophthalmic Epidemiology.  Ophthalmic Epidemiology is an internationally ranked peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research articles related to eye and vision health in the fields of epidemiology, public health and the prevention of blindness.

Visual impairment resulting from uncorrected refractive errors remains a significant public health problem worldwide.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology Completed Ophthalmic Trainings for Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic Nurses from Nine Marzes of Armenia

Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health conducted a 4-day training on “Ophthalmic Diseases, Modern Diagnostic and Treatment Methods” among ophthalmologists and a 2-day training on “Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Ophthalmic Diseases” among ophthalmic nurses from nine marzes of Armenia in October and November 2016. This project has been implemented to fulfill the mission of Meghrigian Institute to educate health providers and establish an ophthalmic care and prevention network to expand service delivery to under-served populations.

The training course provided knowledge and skills in the area of eye disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment methods.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology in Armenian Caritas Day Care Centers for Elderly in Gyumri and Gavar

In December 2016, Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health distributed 100 eye glasses to the beneficiaries of the Armenian Caritas Day Care Centers for the Elderly in Gyumri and Gavar cities.

The staff of the Meghrigian Institute screened 76 and 31 beneficiaries of the Armenian Caritas Day Care Centers for Elderly in Gyumri and Gavar, respectively in late fall 2016.  Women constituted the majority of the beneficiaries (84.1%).  Refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia were found in 89 participants.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology Works with Vardenis Neuropsychological Retirement Home in Gegharkunik

Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) completed eye screenings among people who live in Vardenis Neuropsychological Retirement Home, which currently serves around 430 people that started in July 2016.  Only 299 people were able to participate in the detailed eye screenings.  Women constituted the majority of participants (57.2%).  Refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia were found in 110 participants.  Meghrigian Institute distributed 120 free eye glasses to them.  Other eye conditions such as infections, allergic conjunctivitis, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic angiopathy, hypertonic retinopathy and macular degeneration were diagnosed in 160 patients.

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Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology Celebrates World Sight Day 2016

On October 13, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the School of Public Health distributed eye glasses to the beneficiaries of the Center for Social Services for Single Elderly and Disabled People in Yerevan to celebrate World Sight Day 2016. World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.  This year, the call to action for WSD is “Stronger Together.”

The staff of the Meghrigian Institute screened 382 beneficiaries of the Center for Social Services for Single Elderly and Disabled People between May and October 2016.

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Meghrigian Institute Starts the Annual Eye Screening Program Among Socially Disadvantaged Children

In April 2016, Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health launched its annual eye screening program among socially vulnerable children.

The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited Achapnyak Social Care Center which currently serves 105 children of school age. Ninety two children participated in detailed eye screenings. Thirty two children were found to suffer from eye disorders. Twenty children were diagnosed with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Five children were prescribed eye glasses which were distributed to them for free by the Meghrigian Institute.

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Meghrigian Institute Brings Eye Screenings and Other Forms of Medical Assistance to Artsakh

In a continuing effort to reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment among the socio-economically disadvantaged populations of various regions of Armenia and Artsakh, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (the Meghrigian Institute) launched a campaign in the Martuni region of Artsakh.

The Meghirigian Institute is part of the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (SPH). Free eye screenings were offered during the summer months to the residents of the town of Martuni, as well as the villages of Tchartar, Karmir Shuka, Berdashen, and Gishi. Over 280 patients received eye screenings, and patients who were diagnosed with eye pathologies received free ophthalmic consultation about their diagnosis and further treatment.

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Meghrigian Institute organized eye screening among children living in Gavar Children’s Home

In October, 2015, Meghrigian Institute celebrated World Sight Day (WSD) by organizing free eye screenings for the children living in Gavar Children’s Home orphanage.

The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited Gavar Children’s Home, which currently serves 64 school-age children. Fifty five children participated in detailed eye screenings. Out of them, 10 children were found to suffer from different types of refractive errors. The children in need received free eyeglasses from the Meghrigian Institute. Sixteen children were diagnosed with different eye pathologies including infections, allergic conjunctivitis, amblyopia, blepharitis and aniridia. Children diagnosed with aniridia received ophthalmic eye lenses and those with other eye disorders received free ophthalmic consultation and treatment from the Meghrigian Institute.
Media coverage is here.

Meghrigian Institute Completed Eye Screenings among Adult Population in Martuni Province of Artsakh

In July, 2015, Meghrigian Institute completed a project aimed at reducing the incidence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment among socio-economically disadvantaged population in Martuni provinces of Artsakh. The project targeted population living in Martuni town and Tchartar, Karmir shuka, Berdashen and Gishi villages. Overall, 280 patients received ophthalmic examination in the scope of the project. Patients diagnosed with eye pathologies received free ophthalmic consultation about their diagnosis and further treatment, and those with refractive errors or presbyopia received eye glasses from the Meghrigian Institute.
Close to 260 eye glasses were distributed to the screened population, some of whom received two eyeglasses to correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness.

The Institute plans to expand the eye screenings to other provinces of Artsakh such as Askeran, Martakert and Shushi in the coming years.

Meghrigian Institute Provides Eye Services to World War II Veterans

In May 2015, Meghrigian Institute launched an eye screening program for World War II veterans living in Yerevan to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory. The staff of the Meghrigian Institute worked with the Armenian Veterans’ Association, which currently serves around 400 veterans. Thirty-seven veterans participated in detailed eye screenings. Thirty participants were found to suffer from refractive errors. Thirty-three veterans were prescribed eye glasses which were distributed to them for free by the Meghrigian Institute. Other eye conditions such as infections, allergic conjunctivitis, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic angiopathy, hypertonic retinopathy and macular degeneration were diagnosed in 31 veterans. All veterans with eye diseases received free ophthalmic consultation and medical treatment prescription from the Meghrigian Institute.

Meghrigian Institute Focuses on Vision Related Quality of Life

Eye examinations among patients who underwent cataract surgery at Sevan Regional Ophthalmic Unit in Gegharkunik marz

In October 2014, Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the AUA School of Public Health celebrated the World Sight Day by launching the project “Visual impairment and vision – related quality of life among patients with cataract surgery in Sevan Regional Ophthalmic Unit, Gegharkunik marz”. The project included free eye screenings among patients who underwent cataract surgery at the ophthalmic clinic in Sevan, Gegharkunik, and assessment of their vision-related outcomes and quality of life. Meghrigian Institute screened 211 patients. The project has covered several towns in Gegharkunik marz (Sevan, Gavar, Martuni, Vardenis, and Tchambarak) and other cities in Armenia, including Hrazdan, Charentsavan, and Yerevan.

Meghrigian Institute Completed Eye Screenings among Adult Population in Hadrut Region of Artsakh

In July 2014, AUA’s Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology implemented free eye screenings among people with diabetes and the general population living in Hadrut region of Artsakh. This project targeted population living in Hadrut, as well as population living in Ukhtadzor, Togh and Tumi villages. A total of 251 patents underwent detailed eye examination and received free ophthalmic consultation; Meghrigean Institute distributed 168 eye frames to those in need. Meghrigian Institute plans to have eye screenings among people living in other regions of Artsakh such as Askeran, Martuni, Martakert and Shushi in the coming years.

Meghrigian Institute Completed Eye Screening among Adult Population in Shahumian Province of Artsakh

In October 2013, AUA’s Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology completed a project aimed at reducing the incidence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment among socio-economically disadvantaged population in Shahumian region of Artsakh. Meghrigian Institute conducted free eye screenings for the residents of Karvachar and Aknaberd towns, as well as Nor Brajur, Nor Verinshen, Tsar, Getashen, Dadivanq, Nor Erqej, Nor Karachinar, Yeghegnut and Nor Manashid villages. Overall, 98 patients received eye screenings. All patients diagnosed with eye pathologies received free ophthalmic consultation about their diagnosis and further treatment. Seventy two patients who had refractive errors or presbyopia received eye glasses from Meghrigian Institute. Some of them received two eye glasses for both near and far vision. Meghrigian Institute plans to continue its work in Artsakh.

Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Gegharkunik marz, Armenia

Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the College of Health Sciences at the American University of Armenia is currently implementing a project aimed at reducing the incidence of blindness and visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy in Gegharkunik marz of Armenia.

Diabetic retinopathy is a well-recognized complication of diabetes mellitus. Good control of diabetes significantly reduces the risk for diabetic retinopathy, while the treatment of retinopathy can reduce the risk for visual loss by more than 90%. Screening programs at early stages when treatment can prevent visual loss, as well as health education programs for persons with diabetes, help to prevent blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.

The first stage of the project included training primary health care providers on the importance of early detection of diabetic retinopathy and the need for regular ophthalmic examination of diabetic patients. Fourteen primary health care physicians and 29 nurses were trained by Meghrigian Institute at the Lions Regional Ophthalmic Unit in Sevan in September/October 2011.

Meghrigian Institute is now in the second stage of the project implementation, which focuses on free ophthalmic examinations of diabetes patients in regional centers and villages of Gegharkunik marz for early detection of diabetic retinopathy and assessment of possible eye complications due to diabetes. All diagnosed patients receive free ophthalmic consultation about the diagnosis and further treatment. In addition to free screening, diabetes patients receive educational brochures developed by Meghrigian Institute to increase patients’ awareness about diabetes management and prevention of diabetic retinopathy. To date, the Meghrigian Institute has covered 504 diabetes patients from Sevan, Gavar, Chambarak, Martuni and Vardenis, and continues its work in villages of Gegharkunik marz.

Meghrigian Institute has been involved in prevention of avoidable blindness since 1999 through scientific research, providing preventive screening services to vulnerable populations, strengthening ophthalmic services in regions of Armenia and trainings for health professionals and the general public.

Meghrigian Institute Visits Mary Ismirlyan Orphanage

In June-July 2012, Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the College of Health Sciences continued its annual eye screenings among socially vulnerable and orphaned children. This time it went to Mary Ismirlyan Orphanage. It currently serves 90 children. Sixty six children were available for detailed eye screening. Among them, 23 children were found to suffer from different types of refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Twelve children were prescribed eye glasses which were distributed to them for free by Meghrigian Institute. Forty-four children were diagnosed with more serious eye conditions such as infections, allergic conjunctivitis, dry eye syndrome, amblyopia, retinal dystrophy, blefaritis and eyelid chalasion. All children with eye diseases received medical assistance from Meghrigian Institute.
The next stop will be at Kharberd Specialized Orphanage.

Meghrigian Institute Continues its Annual Eye Screening Program among Socially Disadvantaged Children

On May 10, 2012 AUA’s Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the AUA College of Health Sciences launched its annual eye screening program among socially vulnerable children.
The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited Achapnyak Social Care Center which currently serves 100 school aged children . Eighty one children were available for detailed eye screening. Among them, 23 children were found to suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Seventeen children were prescribed eye glasses which will be distributed to them by the Meghrigian Institute. More serious eye conditions such as infections, allergic conjunctivitis, dry eye syndrome, and uveitis were diagnosed in 35 children at the Achapnyak Center. All children with eye diseases received medical assistance from the Meghrigian Institute.
Meghrigian Institute will visit Mary Ismirlyan Orphange and Kharberd Specialized Orphanage in the coming months.