Punjab govt to appoint over 15,000 ASHA's

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Ludhiana, Feb 15 (UNI) The Punjab Government is appointing 15,800 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to ensure the proper implementation of health schemes and to eradicate female foeticide and infant mortality.

This was stated by Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla while addressing a function organised to present accreditation letters to 987 newly appointed ASHAs here today.

Elaborating on the scheme, the Minister said the an ASHA was being appointed for a population of 1000 and they would be provided with special medical kits and the required short term training for diagnose of certain ailments and first hand care under different health schemes.

She said the ASHAs would be responsible for implementing various health services and programs including registration of pregnancy, checking female foeticide, ensuring delivery in government hospitals, immunisation of children, family planning operations, TB treatment, keeping a check on sale of drugs/intoxicants and adulterated food items.

Prof Chawla clarified that though these ASHA's would not be paid any fixed salary by the government but they would get handsome incentives for the implementation of 19 health related services to the people in their areas. She said ASHA would ensure the compulsory registration of each pregnant women in her area with the ANM/Health center.

ASHA would also carry out follow up of each and every pregnancy and would remain present along side the patient at the time of delivery and would later keep a tab of the health of the mother and child.

She said the Health Department was running around 5000 hospitals/health centers in the state and all the posts of doctors in these centers being run by Zila Parishads had been fulfilled.

Ms Chawla claimed that in the last 10 months the health workers had done a commendable job.

The Minister said strict vigilance by the department on ultra sound centres had seen a decline in female foeticide cases. Now the ratio stood at 818 females (0-6 years) for 1000 males as against the previous ratio of 798:1000.

Dr Chawla also announced that special cash awards of Rs 1100 would be given to the person, who will provide information on sale of illegal drugs being used as intoxicants. For information of spurious food items like (khoya) the prize would be Rs 2100.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr T R Sarangal, Secretary Health Department said a ASHA would be given a honorarium of Rs 200 for taking a pregnant woman for delivery to the government hospital and another Rs 400 if she remains present with the mother and child after delivery. She would also receive Rs 200 for each tubectomy and vasectomy case and Rs 25 for each immunisation.

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