Underpaid & overworked: No ‘asha’ for ASHA workers

Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) were recruited under the National Rural Health Mission in 2007 to help get expectant mothers in rural areas to have institutional deliveries and generally follow up on the needs of the mother and child, such as encouraging immunization, family planning, ensuring good sanitation in rural homes. Yet, when it comes to being paid for this valuable service, they have to run around government hospitals and PHCs to get the signature of doctors and nurses for reimbursement of their component payments. Our Community Correspondent Rohini Pawar from Maharashtra who herself is an ASHA worker from the past 4 years started working in the hope that she would be able to support her family financially but has faced problems in getting full payment on time. ASHA workers serve as a key communication mechanism between the healthcare system and rural population. Rohini demands Government should see to it that their work is respected and the ASHA workers are paid their due. To help her and many others like her please call: Dr. Nandkumar Deshmukh, District health officer, Pune, Maharashtra 09422518277

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