STEPANAKERT—The primary clinic of Iskhanadzor, a village in the liberated Kashatagh region of Artsakh, reopened its doors on Monday after months of renovation. Kashatagh Administration Chief of Staff Davit Davtyan, Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian, as well as representatives of the Artsakh Ministry of Healthcare, Berdzor Hospital and the Ishkhanadzor community attended the opening event.
Built by the Tufenkian Foundation during 2004-2006, the clinic is the only healthcare provider serving a cluster of 16 remote villages in Kashatagh. More than a decade into operations, the clinic was in need of urgent renovations if it was to continue its services.
Realizing the importance of this facility for Ishkhanadzor and all of Southern Kashatagh, the Tufenkian Foundation took up the renovation of the clinic in early September. Substantial improvements were made to the walls, flooring, windows and the external façade of the building, thus ensuring the maintenance of the clinic well into the future. As with all construction efforts carried out by the Tufenkian Foundation, the renovation works were entrusted to local workers from Kashatagh.
Addressing the guests at the opening event, Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian said “The resettlement and development of Kashatagh is not just important for the people living here. It is vital for all of Artsakh and Armenia. We need to work together to bring new life and opportunities to these liberated lands.”
The clinic currently employs 5 healthcare professionals serving more than 500 patients every year. Medical care provided by this clinic is essential for the people of Kashatagh, where accessible medical services are scarce due to poor roads and transportation. Until recently, village-based facilities were practically nonexistent, and medical emergencies such as snakebites, sudden illnesses, and even childbirths often resulted in casualties.
Building, equipping and later renovating the Iskhanadzor clinic is only one of the initiatives carried out by the Tufenkian Foundation towards improved healthcare in Kashatagh. Since 2005, the Foundation has built and equipped other, smaller clinics – notably those in Msheni and Aghavnatun – found in remote areas. In addition to building and renovating clinics, it operated a Mobile Clinic throughout 2008-2010. This supplementary service provided medical care to 2,000 people, including 597 children during its operations.
To further improve the healthcare situation in Artsakh’s liberated borderlands, the Tufenkian Foundation is planning to build a medical clinic in Moshatagh, a village in Northern Kashatagh that currently has no healthcare facilities.
The Foundation was launched in 1999 by entrepreneur James Tufenkian with the mission to empower the initiatives of local citizens, support the most vulnerable strata of the society, promote environmental protection and awareness, and advance social justice in Armenia. Since 2003, the Foundation has broadened its scope to embattled Nagorno-Karabagh, where it promotes resettlement and development projects in the vulnerable border zones of the region.