Development of the sensitive branch of endocrinology in Armenia
The field of healthcare, like many other fields in Armenia, has many gaps in the context of providing services to vulnerable groups. The situation is more complicated for trans people because in parallel with the prevailing discrimination and stereotypes in the country, which of course have their inevitable impact on the health sector, there are also numerous legislative gaps in the field of ensuring the right to health of trans people.
In particular, it concerns the lack of legal regulation of medical interventions related to gender recognition and gender-affirming procedures which, in turn, leads to gaps in professional training and awareness among Armenian doctors regarding the provision of medical care to trans people.
To fill this gap New Generation Humanitarian NGO (NGNGO) organized a working meeting with endocrinologists of the Republic of Armenia on February 18-20, 2021. Participants of the meeting were endocrinologists from the city of Yerevan and other regions of the Republic of Armenia in order to make the information more accessible and widespread in all regions.
The working meeting was led by invited experts from Moscow, Evdokia Tsvetkova, an endocrinologist, specialist in medical information and scientific communication and Inga Grin- Ph.D in psychology, MFT, expert on gender and sexuality.
The meeting started with the greeting speech of Naira V.Gogyan, endocrinology consultant of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia. The latter emphasized that the topic of the meeting was very sensitive and at the same time very important and actual.
Then, the participants were greeted by Sergey Gabrielyan, the President of NGNGO, who thanked them for the participation and wished a productive meeting.
On the first day of the meeting, February 18, Evdokia Tsvetkova introduced the participants to the hormone therapy with trans people by presenting masculinizing and feminizing hormone therapies, their modes and schemes, side effects and possible complications.
Reference was also made to the individual approach to the peculiarities of hormone therapy with non-binary people, adolescents and the elderly.
The day was summed up with questions and answers.
On February 19, E. Tsvetkova spoke about gender affirming procedures, world statistics, international classification of diseases (ICD 10 and ICD 11), diagnostic characteristics and the procedure for providing medical care in Russia.
The day ended with discussions of the experience of the two countries through questions and answers.
The last day of the training, on February 20, was led by expert Inga Grin.
The topic of the day was the professional ethics of working with trans people. The concept of transgenderness from a historical point of view and today, the history of change through the prism of terminology, the position of the WHO, the depathologization of transgenderness were presented within the topic.
Again, reference was made to the framework documents: ICD-10 and 11, WPATH standards, diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The concepts of trans-sensitivity, trans tactfulness, best practices in working with trans clients were discussed.
In addition to the theoretical presentation of the topics, practical activity was carried out in group work. At the end of the meeting, the expert answered the questions of the participants.
Many of the participants confirmed the lack of information and were grateful for the opportunity to fill this gap through this meeting.
At the end of the day, participants were awarded certificates of participation. The working meeting was held in an atmosphere of productive discussions, and it will surely have a positive impact on the participants’ organization of work with trans people in a more professional and informed way.
The meeting was held within the framework of “Advocacy and Awareness Raising to Ensure the Right to Health for Vulnerable Groups of the Society” project, which is implemented with the financial support of GILEAD SCIENCES INC.