The World Health Organisation has recognised the country's 10.4 lakh ASHA ( Accredited Social Health Activist ) workers as 'Global Health Leaders' for their efforts in connecting the community to the government's health programmes. The award is to recognize outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership, and commitment to regional health issues. Their efforts to stop the pandemic in collaboration with other community health centres are also remarkable.

  • ASHA workers are volunteers from within the community who are trained to provide information and aid people in accessing the 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.
  • ASHAs are primarily married, widowed, or divorced women between the ages of 25 and 45 years from within the community.
  • They must have good communication and leadership skills and should be literate with formal education up to Class 8, as per the programme guidelines.
  • The aim is to have one ASHA for every 1000 persons or per habitation in hilly, tribal, or other sparsely populated areas.
  • These health workers provide maternal care and immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension and tuberculosis and core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation, and healthy living. They also ensure that people living in rural poverty can access primary health care services.
  • They will mobilise the community and facilitate them in accessing health and health-related services at different health centres.
  • They also act as a bridge between the Government functionaries and tribal and Non-tribal populations who find it difficult to access health services. It is the first port of call for any health-related demands of the community.
  • Their role is to create awareness on health and it's social determinants and inform the community towards local health planning and increased utilization and accountability of the existing health services.

ASHA ( which means hope in Hindi ) are actually the female volunteers in India, honoured with the 'Global Health Leaders Award' by the World Health Organisation (WHO). They are actually at the forefront of ensuring a healthy India. Their dedication and determination are admirable. They embody the selfless service of humanity.

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