21st Mar 2018 11:03:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Access to healthcare is especially a huge challenge for the people residing in the vast rural hinterland of Arunachal Pradesh. Remoteness compounded by lack of health centres, doctors not to forget medicines makes life a nightmare during medical emergencies. Across such areas where healthcare is non-existent, it is the ASHAs or the Accredited Social Health Activists which are the only hope for basic healthcare for its residents.

ASHA or Accredited Social Health Activist is a trained female community health activist as a key component of the National Rural Health Mission under National Health Mission. She is selected from the village itself and works as a link between community and public health system.

Nationwide a silent army of women have been instrumental in bringing down the infant mortality rate from over 50 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, the year it was first introduced to 34 deaths in 2016. These women provide information to residents in rural areas about health, sanitation and nutrition; conduct ante-natal and post-natal checkups, assist women during deliveries, deliver polio vaccines and conduct health surveys.

Initially they were intended to act as a community activists in order to create awareness, provide counselling services, mobilise community and act as a reliable link between community and health care system but their roles have become multi-tasking in nature today.

The Arunachal government during the first state convention for ASHAs on Tuesday acknowledged their contribution in improving Health Indicators ever since they were introduced in 2005.

These frontline rural health workers face challenging situations both on the field and also family life. While on one hand it brings extra income and social prestige, being on call literally 24X7 and going out to assist deliveries at odd hours poses problems for these women. The incentive they are receiving is definitely meagre for the responsibilities that they are discharging at present which is that of a multi-tasker.

It is a good development that the deputy CM while taking not of their working conditions and minimal incentives under the National Health Mission has announced to consider some incentives from the state government as well. For the hardworking ASHAs this will be the best acknowledgement of their untiring services.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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