New IRC-built Hospital Helps Thousands Receive Health Care in Azerbaijan
The IRC’s country director Pam Flowers said that the hospital will serve residents from over eighty settlements in the Lachin Winterground, a vast resettlement zone housing some 17,000 people displaced by the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly ethnic Armenian region within Azerbaijan.
“Previously, the people in Lachin were forced to travel to a hospital in Agjabedi, some 30 kilometers away, to receive essential health care services,” Flowers said.
Due to dirty water and poor sanitation, diseases such as malaria, brucellosis, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses are widespread in the Lachin settlements.
Apart from managing the construction process, the IRC has also organized health trainings for nearly 300 people in Lachin.
The project, funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM), was completed last month after six months of work. Speaking at the formal opening of hospital on August 30, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse pledged that her government and the international humanitarian organizations will continue to realize joint projects with the government of Azerbaijan to improve the conditions of the displaced population.
An estimated 30,000 people were killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between 1992 and 1994. Despite a ceasefire agreement signed 13 years ago, an estimated 800,000 people remain internally displaced in Azerbaijan.