Chandigarh, Oct 30 (UNI) After the selection of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Haryana, the next step is to familiarise them with the village health status and build their capacity to undertake the crucial role of community mobiliser and the change agent.
This was stated by Ms Navraj Sandhu, Commissioner and Secretary, Health Department, Haryana in her inaugural address at the Review Meeting of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) held at Panchkula today.
The review meeting was organised to examine and evaluate the role of ASHA and the difference that she had been able to make in community mobilisation on demand generation of healthcare services.
Ms Sandhu said though the Centre under the flagship programme of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) had made ASHA scheme compulsory for the 18 focus states (of which Haryana is not a part), Haryana still initiated the ASHA scheme as the state realised that at the village level the ANM was too over-worked and was not being able to meet the community expectations.
She said ASHA would be the 'extra hand' for the ANM and act as the change agent in the community towards bringing change in the healthcare seeking attitudes of the community.
She stressed on training and capacity building of ASHAs so that they could provide basic maternal and child health services to the community and most importantly should be able to identify the danger signs and complications in pregnant mothers and arrange for referral so that maternal deaths can be avoided.
Haryana launched NRHM in April 2005 to address the health needs of rural population, especially the vulnerable sections of the society.
Dr Avinash Sharma, Director General Health Service Haryana, said Haryana would have 14000 ASHAs in the state by 2008 and at present there number was 11,653.