The Republic of Armenia is a country in the Caucasus, sharing borders with Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaïdjan and Iran. The country counted 2,998,600 inhabitants as of January 2016.

The capital city of Armenia, Erevan, counts 1,060,138 inhabitants as of 2011.

Important historical facts:

  • Armenia is the nation country in the world to declare Christianism as a state religion in 301 A.D.
  • The Republic of Armenia suffered an important genocide between 1915 and 1916 (recognized by France since the 29th of January 2001), during which two-thirds of Armenian people were deported or slaughtered.
  • The Republic of Armenia was ranked 136th in the world in terms of GDP in 2013, the country required the IMF assistance in 2009 following a severe recession; since then the country is subject to steady growth.
  • In spite of a rough regional situation, in particular, conflicts with Azerbaïdjan and terminated diplomatic relations with Turkey, Armenia maintains good partnerships with Iran, Georgia and Russia; internal politics are stable, and numerous constitutional reforms are on-going.
Healthcare in Armenia
After the fall of USSR, of which Armenia was the smallest republic, the healthcare system in Armenia kept falling apart, mostly because of economic and diplomatic issues: the decay of medical infrastructures, deterioration of work conditions, and so on…

Nowadays, the Armenian healthcare system is governed by an elementary structure applied to the whole country, and access to care remains limited, due to lack of funding.

All the medical specializations are available, more or less evenly spread out in the territory, but not all modern technologies; in turn, the wealthiest part of the population prefers to go abroad for surgical procedures.

When it comes to manual therapy, physiotherapy is available, but lacks of recognition by the ministry of health although properly taught; as well as traditional forms of therapy, treating patients by eclectic methods, without any recognition.

Our attention was drawn onto Armenia, because at the time of deciding where to start ECHO, 2015 was the year of the year of the centenary of the Armenian genocide. Armenia was fit for the purpose of ECHO, as there was yet no trace of osteopathy, and the country could be considered an “emerging country”. Besides, the relative proximity with Western Europe made it easily accessible at low budget for our organisation in the making. The decision was taken!