The Armenian EyeCare Project has been traveling to Armenia on twice-yearly medical missions since 1992. They are typically held in June/July and in September/October with ophthalmologists, neonatologists and reconstructive surgeons from all over the world. Physicians provide care, perform surgery and teach Armenian physicians.
As a Medical Observer you will be at the side of Armenian and U.S. physicians as they care for patients at the Project’s sub-specialty clinics, the NICU and on the Mobile Eye Hospital. Each experience is designed to meet the needs of the volunteer and the Project. To learn more, read the wonderful stories written by our medical students who have volunteered.
If you are interested in nonprofits, health care administration and public health programs in developing countries, we have many opportunities for you to work and learn in Armenia, to help the people of Armenia and to get to know the people and to see the country. Your volunteer experience will be designed especially for you depending on your interests.
Once you have all of the information about our volunteer opportunities and programs for the EyeCare Project in Armenia and have decided that you would like to participate, please submit our online application with your CV and references through E-Mail at Volunteer@eyecareproject.com. Volunteers are responsible for their own housing and transportation.
Michael’s Medical Observership
In His Own Words
On the plane, where I was planning to relax, I quickly learned that this was not going to be the vacation I had planned it to be. Dr. Ohanesian came over to my seat, showed me some statistics about eye disease in Armenia, briefly went over the goals of the AECP, and then asked me to come up with a curriculum to train doctors…I was confused, he was amused. He then gave me the patented “eyebrow” and walked to his seat, while I, completely lost, took the pen and pad he handed me and started to jot down ideas regarding a training curriculum. The advantage, of course, was that this did make the trip seem short.
Diabetic Eye Diseases
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. If you have diabetic retinopathy you may not notice any changes in your vision initially. However, over time, diabetic retinopathy can become worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
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“The most valuable experience of my AECP internship was the general seeing, learning, and doing of the project’s objectives. The statistics compiled in the surveys came to life in Goris, where I sat in on meetings with the Ministers of Health, and edited grant proposals. I learned that change requires action, and action calls for dedication.”
In a country characterized by a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, there are an estimated 3 million people living in Armenia. Armenians constitute more than 95 percent of the republic’s population, with Yezidis comprising the largest minority and few Russian, Ukrainians, Georgians, Greek, Assyrians remaining.
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