I was born in Armenia in 1980. During the past decades my country has endured great environmental, political and economic turmoil. The earthquake of 1988 in Leninakan, Armenia’s second largest city, took 50,000 lives and completely destroyed three cities and many villages. As a former Soviet republic, Armenia faced socio-economic chaos following the 1991 collapse of the USSR. These resulted in immeasurable psychological devastation, and economic and other deprivation beyond the capacity of Armenia to address. I know first-hand about the difficulties people face due to malnutrition and other socio-economic problems. After I graduated from medical school, I became very interested in public health. I worked in different programmes within Armenia, advocating healthy ways of life and healthy diets.
My career as a healthcare professional started from my work at Yerevan State Medical University’s department of epidemiology. After having worked there for two years, I was granted an award for completion of my master’s degree in the USA. During my US studies I was involved in different projects, including the New York State Department of Health WIC (women, infants, and children) nutritional programme.
Working on the evaluation of that project made me think about the differences in public nutrition problems in countries like the USA, in contrast with much less resourced countries like Armenia. Ever since I have been very interested in public health nutrition, which is why I was more than happy for the opportunity to work at the Hellenic Health Foundation, where we have many public health nutrition-related programmes running.
My job requires daily communication with people of different nationalities from all over the world. Based on what I’ve learned from all of them, public health nutrition is an essential aspect everywhere. The world needs to deal with these issues, and the world needs truly dedicated people for that purpose.