ASHA Workers

ASHA Workers

News: ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers have received the Global Health Leaders Award-2022 in the backdrop of the on-going 75th World Health Assembly.

• They are volunteers from within the community who are trained to provide information and aid people in accessing benefits of various healthcare schemes of the government.
• They act as a bridge connecting marginalised communities with facilities such as primary health centres, sub-centres and district hospitals.
• The role of these community health volunteers under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was first established in 2005.
• There are around 10.4 lakh ASHA workers across the country. The largest workforces of ASHA workers are in states with high populations such as UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Goa is the only state with no such workers.

What is their role?
• Go door-to-door in their designated areas creating awareness about basic nutrition, hygiene practices, and the health services available.
• To ensure women undergo ante-natal checkup, maintain nutrition during pregnancy, deliver at a healthcare facility, and provide post-birth training on breast feeding and complementary nutrition of children.
• Counsel women about contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections.
• Ensure that children get immunised.
• Provide medicines daily to TB patients under directly observed treatment of the national programme.

What are they paid?
• Since they are considered “volunteers”, governments are not obligated to pay them a salary. And, most states don’t.
• Their income depends on incentives under various schemes that are provided when they, for example, ensure an institutional delivery or when they get a child immunised. All this adds up to only between Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 a month.

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