French-Armenian Cardiovascular centRE



In 2013, Armenia-France Health Action has celebrated its 20th birthday. Over two decades, the AFHA has devoted itself to improving healthcare in Armenia, this small Caucasian nation abused by history and the whims of nature, and where heart disease is the primary cause of mortality among young adults. 

A humanitarian
non-governmental organisation

The AFHA was founded in 1993 at the instigation of Dr. Telma Hératchian, Dr. Avédis matikian and Dr. Raffi Delanian from Marseille, France, and under the guidance of the l’AMIC (Armenian medical International Committee). These healthcare professionals wished to promote healthcare services in Armenia, a country that has been devastated by an earthquake in 1988, by the war in Karabagh, and by the collapse of the USSR in 1991. 
Reuniting leaders of industry and public life (developers, institutions, accountants, lawyers), and supported by the fire service of the Bouches-du-Rhône (SDIS) and the Conseil général 13, the AFHA was incorporated as a humanitarian non-profit non-governmental organisation (French law “1901”) in 2006.

Introducing transluminal stent insertion 
to Armenia      

With coronary heart disease, the leading cause of young-adult mortality in Armenia, the AFHA has focused on heart disease. In September 1996, during one of its annual initiatives, the AFHA carried out a transluminal stent insertion, directed by Dr. Marc Silvestri at Yerevan’s Nork Marash Hospital. This technique-which consists of a pericutaneous dilatation of the coronary arteries with the insertion of stents-was totally new to the Caucasus. 

Training cardiology surgeons

Under supervision of opinion-leading cardiologist Dr. Paul Barragan, the AFHA has been training Armenian surgeons in hospitals around Marseille since 1996. 
Today, these newly trained cardiologists work at the various hospitals of Yerevan. 

A new coronarography table
for Yerevan’s Nork Marash Hospital

In November 2004, with financial support from the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhône -chaired by Jean Noël Guerini, and the PACA regional council-chaired by Michel Vauzelle, the AFHA offered a new coronarography table to Yerevan’s Nork Marash Hospital. This high-tech equipment has enabled Armenian cardiologists to operate on patients under optimal conditions. 

Establishing the Euro Caucasian
Congress of Cardiology 
In 2007, and under guidance of the eminent Dr. Paul Barragan, the AFHA organised what was to become the precursor to the Euro Caucasian Congress of Cardiology (ECCC) (“Premières Rencontres cardio-vasculaires Franco-Arméniennes”). Now a biennial event, the ECCC brings together 300 participants with an opinion-leading panel of cardiologists from across Europe, the Caucasus, CIS and the Middle East. Working with the Armenian Ministries of Health and Diaspora, the ECCC is now the top scientific event of the region. 
A cardiovascular unit for Goris
In 2004, Dr Hrair Hovaguimian – the American pioneer of modern cardiac surgery in Armenia working at Nork Marash Hospital – invited the AFHA to help developing coronary angioplasty proficiency in the southern region of Armenia. In 2012, the AFHA, with the help from the FAF (French-Armenian Fund) opened a cardiovascular centre in Goris, Syunik, 250 km south-east of the capital. http://www.amic.ca

AFHA, 20 years of action to the service of Armenia

For pictures (from top to bottom):

- Doctors Paul Barragan and Telma Hératchian.
- The Diaspora Minister Hakobyan Hranush and Dr. Avédis Matikian.
- In 2004, the AFHA has offered a coronarography table to Yerevan’s Nork Marash Hospital.
- Dr. Paul Barragan surrounded by Armenian cardiologists trained in interventional cardiology in France by the AFHA.

Site created by Patrice BASTIERA

Texts and photos ©ASAF

English translation by Anna MARTIROSSIAN


20 years of action to the service of Armenia


The province of Syunik. So far so important


A dream come true


The AFHA, Goris and the FACC  in pictures


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