To develop primary health care in Armenia the EyeCare Project has been training family physicians, or FMD — Family Medicine Doctors, since 2006. In many towns and villages throughout Armenia family doctors are the only health care available for the people. The Project is dedicated to long-term training for Family Medicine Doctors to ensure that they keep their skills current and that they are up-to-date with new medical advancements.
The Project’s FMD training program was done in partnership with USAID as a component of the Project’s Initiative, “Bringing Sight to Armenian Eyes, launched in 2003. As part of the training the Project authored a book as well as developed materials for two training modules — the main course and a refresher. A total of 617 family medicine doctors were trained, with 13 receiving special training to “train the trainers.” The trainings were conducted by two specialists — an FMD and an ophthalmologist — to cover the full spectrum of medicine they are responsible for delivering to their patients.
In addition to on site-training classes, the FMDs have access to the Project’s online training platform designed for primary health care providers and ophthalmologists and open to everyone who wants to learn new competencies and keep their knowledge and skills current.
Within the framework of the EyeCare Project’s new program with the World Diabetes Foundation, the Project continues to train FMDs located in the regions and focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and care for diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. In the past three months the Project has trained 158 FMDs in addition to the original 617 for a total of 775 Family Medicine Doctors trained to date.