November 24, 2017. Yerevan, Armenia. Just a week before the World AIDS Day, the Institute of Child and Adolescent Health (Arabkir Medical Centre), UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) and UNAIDS organized a round table discussion devoted to adolescent health, education and the role of modern information technologies in healthy lifestyle promotion and HIV prevention.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Sergey Sargsyan, Head of the Institute of Child and Adolescent Health and the Chief Pediatrician of the Ministry of Health, noted that adolescence is a very important period of life and behaviors acquired during this time have a profound effect on health and well-being in future.
Dr.Lena Nanushyan, UNAIDS Coordinator,spoke about the situation with HIV in Armenia and efforts undertaken by the Government and international partners to stop the spread of the virus and provide treatment to all who need it. She also highlighted the importance of prevention through education.
Ms.Anahit Muradyan, representativeof the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia, spoke about the achievements and challenges in delivering healthy lifestyle lessons in schools. These lessons were introduced in all Armenian schools back in 2008-2010. She underlined the importance of interactive education that helps developing motivation and skills for healthy living.
Ms. Marina Melkumova and Ms. Eva Movsesyan from the Institute of Child and Adolescent Health presented the newly developed website for adolescents about health and relationships. Titled TEENSLIVE.AM, the website provides scientifically correct, culturally sensitive and age appropriate information to adolescents about general and reproductive health, relationships, friendship, love, as well as about prevention of substance use, violence, HIV and other diseases. The website has also a platform for online anonymous consultation with doctors and psychologists.
Mr. Tigran Yepoyan, UNESCO Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor, highlighted the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in health education and demonstrated several examples of how ICT make health education and awareness raising more attractive to young people and hence more effective.
Mr. Tigran Yepoyan:
“Thanks to UNAIDS Regional Cooperation Programme supported by the Government of the Russian Federation, we have developed this website in cooperation with the National Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, National Education Development Institute and the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia. We also supported the adaptation of a series of edutainment videos on HIV, substance use, violence prevention and other health and relationships related issues to Armenian cultural context. I am sure these recourses will open new opportunities for building a productive dialogue with adolescents on all important issues.”
Ms. Anahit Muradyan:
“At the Ministry of Education, we support initiatives that help improving the quality and impact of Healthy Lifestyle lessons. Therefore, we have supported the TEENSLIVE.AM to be used in schools as an additional source of information and visual aid for Healthy Lifestyle lessons and extracurricular activities.”
A group of pupils from Heratsi High School participated in the round table and organized a flash mob to mark the World AIDS Day and demonstrate solidarity with people living with HIV.
More than 80 people – school principals of UNESCO associated and other local schools, pupils, journalists, representatives of the Ministry of Educationand Science, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Youth and Sportsas well as UN agencies, international and local NGOs- took part in the meeting.
The source of photos used in this article: UN Armenia official website