A Village without ASHA

Nitu’s infant hasn’t received any vaccinations nor medical check-up since it was born. She does home remedies for her child because medical assistance is unavailable in her village. Sonam, a teenager doesn’t know much about menstrual hygiene. She wants to know about the bodily changes she’s undergoing, but there is no trained person to educate her. The village of Judpur has lost ASHA. ASHA which means Hope in the Hindi language is also the acronym of The Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA). 

The ASHA of Junpur died two years ago. “Due to internal politics between the administration, a new ASHA hasn’t been appointed. Due to her absence, almost 1,000 people are denied health care, especially the women, children and the girls,” says Usha Patel, Community Correspondent, Uttar Pradesh. 

What does an ASHA do? The role of an ASHA is that of a community level care provider. This includes a mix of tasks: facilitating access to health care services, building awareness about health care entitlements especially amongst the poor and marginalized, promoting healthy behaviours and mobilizing for collective action for better health outcomes and meeting curative care needs as appropriate to the organization of service delivery in that area and compatible with her training and skills.

Under the Sustainable Development Goal # 3, India has committed itself to a global effort to eradicate disease, strengthen treatment and healthcare, and address new and emerging health issues. However, India continues to lag several health indicators such as mortality rates and malnutrition. According to a paper in health journal Lancet,  the country carries a disproportionate burden of the world’s sick. Home to 17.5% of earth’s population, India accounts for 20% of the global burden of disease, 27% of all neonatal deaths and 21% of all child deaths (younger than five years).

The village of Judpur has the fundamental right to access to Healthcare. Help Usha get an ASHA appointed in the village so that it can once again hope for a healthier future.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Usha Patel.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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