“Armenian Center for Health Initiatives” non-governmental organization

To protect the public health one should protect human rights.

“Antidrug Civil Union” non-governmental organization was founded by several narcologists in 2002. Initially the main goal of the organization was to pursue the drug abuse, to reduce harms and consequences caused by drug addiction, targeting drug users and people living with HIV. Taking into account the needs of the beneficiaries and target groups, the sphere of activities, services, projects and target groups of the organization enlarges year by year, which has resulted in the revision and supplementation of the charter of “Antidrug Civil Union” NGO. Moreover, in early 2012 “Antidrug Civil Union” NGO was renamed into “Armenian Center for Health Initiatives” NGO.

“Armenian Center for Health Initiatives” NGO implements and provides the following services to its beneficiaries:

  • counseling, cure and rehabilitation services concerning issues on drug abuse for free,
  • patients’ rights protection while receiving healthcare services,
  • development and implementation of programs to relieve and reduce harms caused by drug addiction,
  • development and implementation of programs for behavioral change of injecting drug users and prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections among them,
  • education of patients, healthcare and other specialists who work with them,
  • initiation of and advocacy for legislative amendments,
  • establishment and provision of innovative services, etc.

The philosophy of the organization is that every human being is born having basic human rights. This means that if one is sick or has to deal with someone who is sick, this is to say patient on one side and the doctor on the other, it doesn’t mean that they are deprived of human rights or these rights are somehow limited.

The biggest achievement of ten year operation of the organization is the establishment and execution of “Methadone Substitution Treatment Program”. There are such countries in the world that see and talk about the necessity of this program, even along with several organizations up to governmental bodies strive to introduce “Methadone Substitution Treatment Program” in their countries, but they don’t have observable progress or victories in that sphere so far.

However it was possible to introduce in the Republic of Armenia: “Methadone Substitution Treatment Program” is already brought in, moreover the primary results and success of the project, as well as of the treatment are apparent.

“Armenian Center for Health Initiatives” NGO has already entered a new stage of development, focusing its major activities on practical actions. Formerly the organization conducted different and various researches in corresponding fields, legal analysis in a result of which quite many legislative gaps have been revealed. That is why the organization emphasizes its activities on resolving the revealed problems: regaining the violated rights of people, developing mechanisms for the prevention of human rights violations.

Nvard Margaryan