The Valley’s Armenia: Mission of Mercy

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This is the moment the medical mission team from Fresno has been waiting for. Unpacking a 60 foot shipping crate full of medical supplies from Fresno to Armenia. The crate sent last year containing surgical tables, gloves, a wheelchair and more. A customs snag left it sitting in storage, unopened until now.
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno Berj Apkarian has led this mission of mercy for five years.. Bringing doctors and supplies to people in need. “Our main focal point is to reach out and provide instruments and supplies– medications, whatever might be the case for areas that really really need them, and they don’t have the means to have them,” says Apkarian.
Nearly a third of Armenia’s three million people live in poverty. No health insurance and little government provided support. So when a team of 50 doctors and specialists arrives offering supplies, medicine, and free care; they line up at clinics, at hospitals, even the hotel lobby.
Doctor of Internal Medicine Ali Fayed of Fresno met with patients in Yerevan’s Hyatt Place Hotel before breakfast. Checking breathing, blood pressure and whether their prescriptions are adequate. Dr. Fayed says chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes are not maintained here. Patients can’t afford a doctor’s visit or the medicine. “It is very humbling experience because we like in the U-S. We have the most advanced medications and modalities of treatment and so on. But when you come here, people don’t have a lot of these things,” Dr. Fayed says. He says he’s happy to help. “They really really appreciate everything we do and that just makes us feel fantastic at the end of a very long day we spend here.”
A long day.. sorting supplies, meeting patients.. and providing free care. A mission of giving– that offers plenty in return.

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