Kybele and the Armenian Society of Anesthesiologists and Intensivists have recently completed a successful multiyear partnership. From 2006 until 2015, 31 Kybele volunteers from five countries made six trips to Armenia. Ten of these individuals made multiple trips. The hard work and dedication by the Armenian physicians and the Kybele team paid off; all the objectives established by the partnership were accomplished. One key objective was the development of Obstetric Anesthesia Practice Guidelines. These were developed to provide practicing physicians across the country with up-to-date guidelines to help ensure a consistently high standard of care. Most significantly, these were the first guidelines ever approved by the Armenian Ministry of Health for ANY field of medicine. The ministry is now calling for guidelines within other fields of medicine to improve patient safety across the country.
Armenian and Kybele team members traveled throughout the country together, even to remote areas, to ensure compliance with the guidelines and to provide hands-on training when practices were observed to be suboptimal. The clinical accomplishments have been truly impressive. Most notably, there has been a substantial increase in the use of spinal anesthesia for cesarean section across the country. This change alone has impacted thousands of women. Drs. Shahla Namak and Amy Bamber, both of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, have also led projects that have significantly reduced post-partum bleeding and improved NICU hand-washing hygiene, thus providing life-saving care to mothers and vulnerable newborns. Both projects have been accepted for presentation at upcoming international medical meetings. Congratulations to the entire Armenian and Kybele team for hard work that has paid off!