Public Health and Rapid Diagnosis for Family Farms

Public health is a major issue in many countries. Due to lack of means, farmers in developing countries are often unable to prevent the spread of animal-borne diseases to humans. Each year such diseases affect tens of millions of people and kill thousands worldwide. To resolve this problem ATG came up with a practical solution, to create a Portable Laboratory which is relatively affordable, yet is able to perform most of the tasks that are performed in a high tech lab. This lab will help farmers prevent the spread of animal-borne diseases and will save many lives.

A portable laboratory could be rapidly deployed and activated in any rural location, regardless of the road conditions. Unlike sustaining a medical building, this system is a practical solution and substantially less costly to maintain and operate; it does not require major fixed overhead expenses such as utilities and administrative staff to manage the unit. This unique product offers the capability of identifying rapid diagnosis laboratory measurements to determine accurate treatment.

Lab capabilities include: level of glucose and proteins; malaria and tuberculous detection; and urinalysis, hematology, and general chemistry. The portable Lab can perform 80+% of the standard tests most frequently requested by health professionals. The portable lab is one of the few viable field laboratories methods capable of on-site diagnostic testing for communities that lack adequate electricity, technology and supplies to support a permanent laboratory.

How does the Portable Lab work? The portable veterinary lab provides in “one package” the equipment, materials and reagents necessary for rapid and accurate diagnosis of common diseases, monitors animal health and provides disease surveillance on farm, in the field or clinic. It has quality binocular microscope, centrifuge, refractometer and incubator, and can be used to perform Complete Blood Count (CBC), serum chemistry, urinalysis, fluorescent microscopy, hematology, fecal examination, microbiology and other tests. It comes with three power sources: standard A/C electrical current, battery power and solar panel – making it versatile anywhere. This portable lab will expand each veterinarian’s practice capabilities and improve hard and flock health to ultimately enhance

family farm income and public health.

The goal of the project is to provide Armenia and its neighbors the ability to diagnose and cure diseases associated with agriculture before they reach humans. The laboratory will also enable the countries of the South Caucasus to apply international standards in certifying the safety of their agricultural products.

Providing Wholesome Milk to Armenian Villages

In addition to the portable laboratory, ATG has already installed four large milk-cooling containers for villages in northern Armenia. These collection tanks each hold 800-1000 gallons, and give over 3,000 families access to milk vital for proper nutrition. Before, these families lacked access to the milk they need because they had no safe way to store it. Without proper cooling, the milk quickly spoiled and couldn’t be kept in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of the villagers and their children. These cooling tanks were crucial for their health.

The tanks will further serve as extensions of the Diagnostic Lab; a certified veterinarian will be placed at each location to monitor and maintain the purity of the milk. Each veterinarian will:

  • Serve as a field station to detect and monitor both indigenous and foreign infectious diseases, including Anthrax, Salmonella and Brucellosis
  • Provide the Central Diagnostic Lab with the data needed for the diagnosis and treatment of animals with these diseases
  • Ensure the health and safety of milk-producing animals

The milk-cooling containers serve our fellow Armenians in the following villages:

  • Charinch, Aragatsotn Marz — 620 families
  • Vanakn, Lori Marz — 700 families
  • Artzvaberd, Tavoush Marz — 780 families
  • Akhourian, Shirak Marz — 1200 families

All these hardworking families, especially their children, now get the wholesome milk they need strengthen their bodies. This investment also strengthens their hearts as Armenians on both sides of the world strive for a better, healthier homeland.For more information on the Bike-a-Thon II project, which made these milk tanks a reality for thousands of rural Armenians, Click here

To see a map of the locations of the milk tanks, Click here