‘They can use our help:’ Medical supplies from Fresno en route to Armenia


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A care package from Fresno will soon be on its way to Armenia to help treat the victims of a violent conflict.

It has been nearly a month since a violent conflict began between Armenia and its neighbor Azerbeijan. The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh with its ethnic Armenian population is at the center of the dispute.

For five years, a medical mission of Fresno area doctors has gone to Armenia to provide free medical care. This year the pandemic canceled the plans, but Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno Berj Apkarian has come up with another way to help.

“Innocent lives are being lost. So our job regardless if we’re physically over there or not– and for us to do our job– it’s expected from us. And I’m delighted to take part in this important endeavor,” says Apkarian.

According to Apkarian, the current conflict is targeting civilians. Armenia’s Ministry of Health sent out a request for help.

The country has already endured so much: the 1915 genocide that left one and a half million people dead, 75 years of soviet rule, a 6-year war with Azerbaijan in the 1990s, and now another battle.

“They can use our help, and the problem with wounds and war is the use of equipment. Everything is used and used and used. And you run out so fast,” says ENT Specialist Dr. Brien Tonkinson.

There is now help and hope on the way from the Central Valley to heal the wounds. Donations to the medical mission helped pay for the supplies, which should arrive this week.

Apkarian says a small group of Fresno surgeons may also go to Armenia soon to help provide care to the victims of the war.

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