UNFPA in Armenia supports various initiatives aiming at reduction of maternal mortality, as well as abortion and infection rates through introduction of modern methods of contraception, improved access to and quality of Reproductive Health/Family Planning services, better antenatal services and care, education of young people on reproductive rights, health, and sexuality issues.
In 2002,UNFPA Armenia in cooperation with the Center for Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology (CPOG) introduced the services of Mobile Gynecologist in hard-to-reach and remote rural areas of Armenia. The Mobile Gynecologist is a fast way of reaching women in labor by mobile gynecologist teams (MGTs) using an ambulance car fitted with the needed equipment. MGTs operate in six cities of five regions in Armenia, namely, Ararat (Ararat region), Armavir (Armavir region) Gavar and Vardenis (Gegharkunik region), Artik (Shirak region) and Spitak (Lori region)). From these base locations the teams are called to remote rural areas whenever there is a difficult case of woman in delivery and a life of woman is endangered.
The MGT consist of highly qualified and trained medical personnel (a gynecologist and a sonographer). Each team utilizes a vehicle that is fully equipped with necessary medical equipment (mobile ultrasound machine, portable Doppler and cardiotocograph machine) and supplies.
The MGTs were providing antenatal services to approximately 1200 women annually as a part of the regular antenatal public service provision to pregnant women. The establishment of MGTs contributed to:
- Decrease of maternal mortality rate. The maternal mortality was reduced by 20 percent in 2009 and by 70 percent by 2010;
- Helped to address the regional disparities;
- Changed reproductive health services for the better in rural areas;
- Also due to regular visits to communities, signs of cervical and breast cancers and other health issues could be identified at an earlier stage to take preventive measures.
The Mobile Gynecologist model can be replicated in any country to ensure universal assess for care, especially for poor population in remote areas and can serve as an alternative solution to provide access to reproductive public health services in remote communities.
Partners: Republican Institute of Reproductive Health, Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology (Armenia)
Budget: Equipment costs per car $15,000 in addition to the cost of ambulance cars
Contact person: Tsovinar Harutyunyyan, UNFPA Armenia CO Program Analyst