Meghrigian Institute Launches Eye Screening Program for Children
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In November 2021, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) with assistance from the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs launched an eye screening program for socially vulnerable and visually impaired children. The program aimed to decrease visual impairment in the target population through the provision of comprehensive ophthalmic examination, as well as the distribution of spectacles and medication to those in need.
The staff of the Meghrigian Institute visited the Children’s Home in Gavar, Gegharkunik province; Special school No.14 after Nikoghayos Tigranyan in Yerevan, for visually impaired children; Child and family support center in Yerevan; “Zatik” children support center in Yerevan; Children’s home in Yerevan; and SOS children’s village, Kotayk province, which serves socially vulnerable and displaced children affected by the 44-day Artsakh war in 2020. Overall, 340 of the 416 children from the target population, and 42 adults related to the project, who had limited access to ophthalmic services, benefited from these organized comprehensive eye screenings.
In December 2021, the Meghrigian Institute distributed spectacles and medications to children in need. Sixty-seven children, diagnosed with refractive errors, received spectacles and eight children, diagnosed with different eye diseases, including infectious and allergic conjunctivitis, eyelid chalazion, blepharitis, eyelid coloboma, nasolacrimal duct obstruction, and accommodation spasm, received medical assistance from the Meghrigian Institute. Those with other eye conditions that needed hospital care were referred to specialized centers for follow-up examination and treatment.
The AUA Turpanjian College of Health Sciences 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.