The Strategy on Promoting Healthy Lifestyle in Armenia and Perspectives for Funding

BazarchyanOn February 12, the AUA School of Public Health hosted Dr. Alexander Bazarchyan, the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia and Dr. Naira Gharakhanyan (AUA MPH 2003), Policy and Quality Assurance Expert in Health, Child Health Campaign Manager, World Vision Armenia as guest lecturers. Dr. Bazarchyan presented the Strategy on Health Lifestyle of the Ministry of Health. Dr. Gharakhanyan presented about Health Promotion and Perspectives of its funding in Armenia covering the international experience about alternative sources of health financing and the potential for their implementation in Armenia, including increased excise taxes on tobacco products and allocation of these resources for health promotion (health screenings, public health education and other cost-effective preventive interventions).

After the presentations Dr. Bazarchyan and Dr. Gharakhanyan talked about internship and master project opportunities for MPH Students in the National Institute of Health and World Vision Armenia and answered questions from MPH students. While talking to MPH students, Dr. Gharakhanyan mentioned “I think it is right time for me (after 10 years of my graduation from AUA) to start sharing knowledge, experience and skills with my future colleagues and engage them in advocacy as future supporters and advocates for health promotion and its sustainable funding in Armenia.”

GharakhanyanDr. Alexander Bazarchyan is the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Health and Head of Health Informatics Analytic Center since 2013. In 2011-2013, he was the Head of the Public Health Unit of the Ministry of Health. Since 2000, Dr. Bazarchyan has been the WHO National Counterpart on Tobacco Control and since 2005 the Coordinator of the National Tobacco Control Program. In 1999-2011, Dr. Bazarchyan has been Assistant/Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the National Institute of Health. He coordinated such important research projects as 2003-2004, 2008-2009 Global Youth Tobacco Surveys; 2005-2006, 2010 Global Health Professionals/Students Surveys; and 2005-2006 -Tobacco Prevalence Survey in Armenia. In 2004, Dr. Bazarchyan earned the World Health Organization (WHO) award for recognition of outstanding contribution to tobacco control – WHO Director General’s award.

Dr. Naira Gharakhanyan is a graduate of Yerevan State Medical University, qualifying in the field of neonatology.  She also holds MPH degree from the AUA School of Public Health. Dr. Gharakhanyan has 18 years of professional work experience in clinical practice in newborn departments at pediatric clinics and maternity hospital. Since 2000, Dr. Gharakhanyan’s work experience and professional activities have expanded in the area of public health. She held various positions in health and social programs in international and local NGOs. She has been leading health and social programs at Children of Armenia Fund since 2004. Since 2010 she is leading the World Vision Health Advocacy and Policy programs and Child Health Now Campaign within the Global Health Initiative, addressing maternal and child health issues, promoting innovative health financing mechanisms and strengthening health care system in Armenia. Dr. Gharakhanyan has served as an expert in development of such policy documents as National Child and Adolescent Health Care Strategy, Alternative to Government NGO Report to International Child Rights Commission, Armenia Health System Performance Assessment.  She was a team leader in many research projects, funded by UNICEF, World Bank and other organizations. She is an author of publications on health and social topics.  Dr. Gharakhanyan is also participant of numerous international conferences, workshops and trainings related to public health, maternal and child health, youth development and child protection.