Suren GALSTYAN, Armenia
PROJECT: Research for Advocacy for Higher Quality of Care in Maternal and Newborn Health Services in Armenia

Specialized in public health, Suren is contributing to developing national policies, strategies and practices in Armenia, with a special interest in reproductive, maternal, perinatal, newborn, and child health. His commitment to advance the health, wellbeing, and human rights of women, children, and adolescents in his country led to his recent involvement in the development of national neonatal standards, adopted by the Ministry of Health. He is also specialized in food safety, food quality and food law, and his interest in this subject led to his recent engagement in designing the program and textbook for vocational education and training, approved by the Ministry of Education and Science. Alongside his professional career, Suren has been involved in civil society initiatives since 2016 allowing him to advocate for the improvement of health, wellbeing, and human rights of women, children, and adolescents in Armenia. He is a recipient of different high-prestigious national and international merit-based named scholarships.

Suren holds a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) from the American University of Armenia (AUA) and Food Science (MS) from the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU). 

“The EaP Civil Society Fellowship provided me a unique platform to enhance my leadership competencies and apply my expertise towards bringing positive changes in my community. It is, therefore, an utmost honor and privilege to have the chance of taking a more responsible leadership role, boosting the motivation of the target audiences and contributing to the ongoing transition toward more sustainable development.” – Suren Galstyan.

Research for Advocacy for Higher Quality of Care in Maternal and Newborn Health Services in Armenia

This Fellowship research project aimed to study the experience of pregnant women in maternal health care centers of Armenia and advance the implementation of an integrated person-centered model of obstetric care in the country. As a component of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this initiative can be exemplified by the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health 2016–2030 which has expanded the focus of its objectives to cover not merely the survival but also thriving of women and children so that they can achieve their full potential for health and well-being, and contribute to the transformative change envisioned in the SDGs. To promote higher quality obstetric services, Suren conducted research and pursued advocacy campaigns with his team. First, the gaps, inconsistencies, and violation of patients’ rights in the local hospitals were examined and the extent of person-centered maternity care during facility-based childbirth was assessed; then he prepared the summary of specific recommendations for the Ministry of Health and relevant organizations in the sector. Following this, Suren launched an advocacy campaign, trained the administration and staff members in all 12 maternity hospitals along with the validation of suggested recommendations, and disseminated research findings to the wider audience.  

The project produced a research paper analyzing the data collected from 729 patients of all 12 health facilities of Yerevan delivering maternal care services. The project also facilitated high-level discussions on the challenges and solutions of advancing the integrated person-centered model of obstetric care in Armenia. As an advocacy campaign, Suren conducted 14 workshops in the sector organizations and the Ministry of Health, allowing him to raise the awareness of over 150 obstetric care providers, policy-makers, and health care planners in the field. The action overall promoted person-centered maternity care as a quality attribute of obstetric care delivery and suggested expertise-based recommendations to the relevant entities to advance the health, wellbeing, and human rights of women and children in the country.

Fellowship Programs 2019
Country Armenia
Areas of Interest Advocacy
Awareness raising
Topics Health & sports
Support to local actors to provide basic services
Transparency & accountability
Project duration May 2019 - November 2019