Highlighting the role played by ASHA workers, discuss the challenges faced by them in the public health system of India.
ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers are vital touch points, where public health policies are realized into outcomes.
Role played by ASHA workers:
- Increased awareness on health issues.
- Reduce health information asymmetry.
- Increase the institutional delivery process, which reduces IMR, MMR.
- Vital for collecting health related information.
- Provides small healthcare services like medicines for common problems, injections, etc.
Challenges faced by ASHA workers:
- Low salaries.
- Lack of insurance coverage, despite being involved in high risk activities. E.g. Many ASHA workers got infected during Covid pandemic.
- Due to large vacancies, high burden on the current staff.
- Very few male ASHA workers, as a result Men don’t approach to ASHA workers for their problems.
Thus, ASHA workers play a very vital role at the grassroot level. They are imperative to a better public health system, hence their working conditions needs improvement, such as their salaries needs to be improved along with filling up of vacancies, gender diversity and insurance coverage.