New equipment will be supplied to Yerevan birthhouses

PanARMENIAN.Net - Today, VivaCell-MTS and BirthLink NGO launched a large-scale neonatal care project aimed at significantly reduction of infant mortality in Armenia.


More than 4 million babies in the world die annually in their first year of life. Not only do a staggering 98% of these deaths occur in developing countries, but 65% of these deaths occur in the first month of life, with more than two-thirds happening in the first week, and of these babies, more than 50% die in the first 24 hours.


Based on WHO statistics, Armenia's infant mortality rate is more than four times higher than in countries like the US and UK.


"Being aware of how vulnerable a newborn is and the high and sophisticated level of care it needs, VivaCell-MTS couldn't just watch. This project is yet another commitment in line with our Corporate Responsibility belief that we are turning into practice. It is all because we care," stated VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.


With good facilities and equipment, complemented by a program of continuing education and a sound medical knowledge, many of these deaths are preventable.


Kathy Mellor, BirthLink's Director and founder said: "Our main objective, in undertaking this project, is to reduce neonatal mortality over the next five years, in line with the UN Millennium Goals. Through the provision of essential equipment, specifically targeting the immediate period after birth, when babies are most vulnerable, and continued support to neonatal departments in Armenia, we hope we can have an impact on survival for sick and vulnerable newborn babies. And this project would not have been possible without the support and funding by VivaCell-MTS."


With more than 40% of births in Armenia taking place in Yerevan, this project is supporting ten maternity departments in the city, as well as one Children's hospital, which receive sick newborns. A total of 101 pieces of essential equipment that can support vulnerable newborn babies were distributed to hospitals including incubators, respiratory support, monitors and other essential supplies for delivering safe and appropriate care.

The press conference will be followed by a series of training sessions for medical personnel from target medical facilities in use of medical equipment. Also there will be follow up visits by the professional medical team to give ongoing support.
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