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Commitment to North Armenia, Artsakh — Armenia Fund USA Newsletter 2014.1

Armenia Fund USA Inc.
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Project Sponsor: Ms. Meline Tufenkjian

According to a report by New York Times journalist Nicolas Kristof, only 15 percent of Armenia’s TB victims are able to receive appro-priate treatment for a growing drug-resistant, life-threatening strain of tuberculosis. Mr. Kristof was reporting from Yerevan, Armenia, which is among the hotspots around the world with incidence of this deadly strain of TB.

A. Hospital Kitchen; B. TB patients enjoy their lunch, compliments of Meline Tufenkjian

Meline Tufenkjian’s “Meds and Meals” Program for TB patients in Gyumri

Back in New York, Meline Tufenkjian already had been on the case since 2007, when she first learned about the TB Hospital in Gyumri and its struggle to provide adequate nourishment and medical treatment to its increasing patient population. She was determined to make a difference. Raised by a single mother herself, Meline’s heart went out not only to the patients, but also their children, whose lives suddenly were uprooted by the separation of a parent. Reason enough why, in December 2007, Ms. Tufenkjian donated $15,000 to Armenia Fund USA to help cover the cost of medications and nutritious meals for those in isolation.

Director of the TB hospital in Gyumri Karine Tonoyan was very happy to learn about Ms. Tufenkjian’s initiative. “We are grateful to Ms. Tufenkjian for her initiative and unique way of helping by supplementing nutrition and medications for our patients in addition to the bare minimum our hospital receives from the government. Patients are very thankful to the donor for her generous gift.”

This special allocation also frees up other funds that the hospital has received from other sources, including international agencies, NGOs and the Armenian government, to meet such vital necessities as a state-of-the-art portable ultrasound machine, hospital-room renovations, potable water systems and infrastructure repairs.

Ms. Tufenkjian has committed to continuing with her “Meds and Meals” program as needed, raising the quality of treatment as well as the spirits of patients and their families. This year, she called Armenia Fund with good news. “Knowing that my money was designated just the way I wanted and served the purpose of helping patients who needed it badly, I will continue my support for the TB hospital in Gyumri in 2009,” declared Ms. Tufenkjian.

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