Who is an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)?
- ASHA will be the first port of call for any health-related demands of deprived sections of the population, especially women and children, who find it difficult to access health services.
- She will also provide a minimum package of curative care as appropriate and feasible for that level and make timely referrals.
- ASHA is a trained female community health activist. Selected from the community itself and accountable to it, the ASHA will be trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system
The role and responsibilities of ASHA
- ASHA will take steps to create awareness and provide information to the community on determinants of health such as nutrition, basic sanitation & hygienic practices, healthy living.
- She will counsel women on birth preparedness, the importance of safe delivery, breastfeeding and complementary feeding, immunization, contraception and prevention of common infections including Reproductive Tract Infection/Sexually Transmitted Infection (RTIs/STIs) and care of the young child.
- ASHA will mobilize the community and facilitate them in accessing health and health-related services available at the village/sub-centre/primary health centres, such as Immunization, Ante Natal Check-up (ANC), Post Natal Check-up (PNC), ICDS,
- She will work with the Village Health & Sanitation Committee of the Gram Panchayat to develop a comprehensive village health plan.
- She will arrange escort/accompany pregnant women & children requiring treatment/ admission to the nearest pre-identified health facilitye. Primary Health Centre/ Community Health Centre/ First Referral Unit (PHC/CHC /FRU).
- ASHA will provide primary medical care for minor ailments such as diarrhoea, fevers, and first aid for minor injuries.
- She will be a provider of Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme.
- She will also act as a depot holder for essential provisions being made available to every habitation like Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORS), Iron Folic Acid Tablet (IFA), chloroquine, Disposable Delivery Kits (DDK), Oral Pills & Condoms, etc.
- She will inform about the births and deaths in her village and any unusual health problems/disease outbreaks in the community to the Sub-Centres/Primary Health Centre.
- She will promote construction of household toilets under the Total Sanitation Campaign.
Criteria for Selection of ASHA
- ASHA must be primarily a woman resident of the village – ‘Married/Widow/Divorced’ and preferably in the age group of 25 to 45 yrs.
- ASHA should have effective communication skills, leadership qualities and be able to reach out to the community.
- She should be a literate woman with formal education up to Eighth Class. This may be relaxed only if no suitable person with this qualification is available.
- Adequate representation from disadvantaged population groups should be ensured to serve such groups better
Who is Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM)?
- Auxiliary Nurse Midwife is a village-level female health worker in India who is known as the first
- Contact person between the community and the health services. ANMs are regarded as the grass-roots-workers in the health organization pyramid
Role of ANM
- Auxiliary Nurse Midwife works at health sub-centres. The sub-centre is a small village-level institution that provides primary health care to the community. The sub-centre works under the Primary Health Centre (PHC).
- ANMs are expected to be multi-purpose health workers. ANM-related work includes maternal and child health along with family planning services, health and nutrition education, efforts for maintaining environmental sanitation, immunization for the control of communicable diseases, treatment of minor injuries, and first aid in emergencies and disasters
Relation with ASHAAuxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) wills Guide ASHA in performing the following activities:
- She will hold weekly/fortnightly meetings with ASHA and discuss the activities undertaken during the week/fortnight. She will guide her in case ASHA had encountered any problem during the performance of her activity.
- AWWs and ANMs will act as a resource person for the training of ASHA.
- ANMs will inform ASHA regarding the date and time of the outreach session and will also guide her for bringing the beneficiary to the outreach session.
- ANM will participate & guide in organizing the Health Days at AWC.
- She will take help of ASHA in updating the eligible couple register of the village concerned.
- She will utilize ASHA in motivating the pregnant women for coming to the sub-centre for initial checkups. She will also help ANMs in bringing married couples to sub-centres for adopting family planning.
- ANM will guide ASHA in motivating pregnant women for taking full course of IFA Tablets and TT Injections etc.
- ANMs will orient ASHA on the dose schedule and side effects of oral pills.
- ANMs will educate ASHA on danger signs of pregnancy and labour so that she can timely identify and help beneficiary in getting further treatment.
- ANMs will inform ASHA on date, time and place for the initial and periodic training schedule.