Led by Union of French-Armenian Doctors president Levon Artinian, a team of top ophthalmologists from France implemented the initiative in 13 Tavush communities, where the physicians administered eye examinations for more than 1,100 patients and provided them with prescription eyeglasses.
The project comprised three phases. First Dr. Artinian and his colleagues conducted a training course in advanced ophthalmological techniques for local doctors throughout the 13 target communities of Tavush. Subsequently the French team had local doctors compile lists of individuals who required eyecare. In the final phase of the project, team members examined patients – children and adults alike – whose names appeared on the lists and accordingly supplied them with eyeglasses. All organizational aspects of the initiative were coordinated by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
Established in 1975, the Union of French-Armenian Doctors has carried out a string of charitable projects in Armenia. The union began its benevolent activities in the republic immediately following the devastating Spitak earthquake of 1988.
“This is the second year that the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is collaborating with the Union of French-Armenian Doctors,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the fund. “In August 2008 a team from the Union of French-Armenian Doctors examined and provided prescription eyeglasses to about 400 patients in the Lori Region. This year the project has been markedly expanded to include 268 children and 805 adults.”
Vardanyan continued: “Our hope is that in 2010 the Union of French-Armenian Doctors will reach out to even a greater number of patients in the homeland, helping significantly improve the lives of those who cannot afford eyecare as well as enhancing the professional skills of local physicians.”