Question-2: The recent global recognition for India’s ASHAs should be used as a chance to iron out the challenges in the programme. Critically Analyse.
Answer: Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) are community volunteers whose function is to act as a bridge between the government and community.
ASHA workers are tasked with creating awareness among community regarding government initiatives as well as health related issues.
- ASHA workers have received arguably the biggest international recognition in form of the World Health Organization’s Global Health Leaders Awards 2022.
- The ASHAs were among the six awardees announced at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva.
- India launched the ASHA programme in 200506 as part of the National Rural Health Mission.
- They have been recognized for the work done by ASHA volunteers during the COVID19 pandemic as well as for serving as a link between communities and health systems.
- It is important to note that even before the COVID19 pandemic, ASHAs have made extraordinary contributions towards enabling increased access to primary healthcare service.
Need for addressing challenges
- Issue related to regularization and remuneration have plagued ASHA programme from years. Giving value for the work will motivate ASHA workers to contribute more.
- Trained ASHA workers can be deployed for primary healthcare services, especially in areas where there is shortage of primary healthcare workers.
Thus, WHO award for ASHA volunteers is a proud moment and also a recognition of every health functionary working for the poor and the underserved in India.
It is an acknowledgement of the role and the relevance of people centric primary health care services.
Tags: GS 2 (Governance)
By- Prashant Tiwari