Child and Adolescent Health in Armenia: Experiences and Learned Lessons

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The health of children and adolescents of Armenia has been affected by various socioeconomic, environmental, educational, and behavioral factors, demonstrating trends typical for both developed and developing countries. Key issues to be addressed by Armenian pediatricians are child mortality, malnutrition, and growth failure in the early years and overweight in later years. The case of Armenia illustrates how countries in transition are currently tackling both “old” problems (mortality and malnutrition) and “new” emerging morbidities (chronic diseases and adolescent health problems) based on social and health determinants, but the financing of the health system is far from satisfactory. Lessons of Armenia indicate the need for more cooperation between general practitioners and pediatricians at a primary care level. In addition, a better balance between inpatient and outpatient care could be achieved, which is not yet the case. Nevertheless, the overall performance of the Armenian child health care system can be considered satisfactory when bearing in mind the limitation of resources. Among the successful factors are those inherited from the Soviet period health system, including key institutions such as rural health posts and health centers, city polyclinics, and hospitals. These institutions mostly meet the needs of Armenian children and families today.

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