PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM
The OSIAF - Armenia’s general approach to the Public Health Program is to raise awareness of vulnerable groups of population on public health issues, build capacity of the institutions and NGOs, design and develop pilot projects to advocate the programs to representatives from multiple stakeholder groups. The OSIAF - Armenia’s Public Health Program focuses on Mental Health, Harm Reduction, Tobacco Control Policy, and Law and Health sub-programs to address the needs of vulnerable population and specific groups.
In 2008, the OSIAF –Armenia Public Health Program aimed at promoting health policies based on social inclusion, human rights, justice, and scientific evidence.
The Foundation supported Law and Health, Harm Reduction, Mental Health, and Tobacco Control Policy initiatives to address the needs of vulnerable groups of population, to promote greater civil society engagement in public health policy and practice, to build capacity of the institutions and NGOs for designing pilot projects and advocate the programs to representatives from multiple stakeholder groups, hence promoting policy and legislative changes and institutional reforms in the country.
In 2008 the Foundation supported the development of practitioner guide on patients’ rights for lawyers, as well as translation of OSI Health and Human Rights Resource Guide for law and health professionals. Law and health university courses intended to teach university health and law students and health practitioners on national and international norms on patients’ rights were developed and institutionalized by three institutions The Foundation jointly with OSI Law program supported the Prison Monitoring Board project in Armenia aimed at the development of standards and monitoring of access to services and quality and availability of services in prisons.
“Legal aid project for injecting drug users” was jointly implemented by a human rights organization “Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor office” and Vanadzor city needle exchange project to assess the situation related to injecting drug use in Vanadzor city, to initiate public discussions on TV and raise awareness of community on urgent health and human rights problems of drug users.
The Foundation supported Mental Health and Harm Reduction projects in Armenia to address the needs of the most vulnerable groups, people with mental health problems and drug users In 2008, the Foundation and International Harm Reduction Program worked with civil society to reduce HIV and other harms related to drug use, and supported services to protect their human rights.
Methadone substitution treatment project was supported to build capacity and launch treatment for injecting drug users in the country.
In 2008, the Foundation supported Tobacco Control Policy Program to review National Tobacco Control Law and National Tobacco Control Plan, to initiate public discussions, advocate the recommendations to multiple stakeholders and decision-makers and further harmonize the Law and Plan with provisions of Framework Convention of Tobacco Control.
In 2008, the OSI Public Health Network Program and American Austrian Foundation supported Salzburg seminars program administered by FAR Fellowship Alumni’s Association (FAR FAA) that provided medical and public health specialists with the opportunities to attend Salzburg Seminars in Salzburg, Austria. FAR FAA organized local seminars, round tables and lectures in Yerevan and across the region for exchange of knowledge and experience.
In 2008, the Foundation’s Public Health Program was involved in providing logistic and expert support to the specialists selected by OSI Public Health Network Program to participate in training sessions and conferences.
Two-language professional website - www.healthrights.am, a joint project of the Open Society Institute Law and Health Initiative (LAHI) and the Open Society Assistance Foundation—Armenia is created to disclose and disseminate corresponding international and local news and updates, key documents, ongoing events and related topics.