ITANAGAR, Mar 20: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that contribution of Accredited Social Health Activists, popularly known as ASHAs, in improving the state’s health indicators has been exemplary.
‘The ASHAs contribution has been exemplary in educating and mobilizing communities, particularly those belonging to marginalized communities, for adopting behaviours related to better health and creating awareness on social determinants, enhancing better utilization of health services and participation in health programs’, Mein said, while addressing the first ever convention of the ASHAs at the State Assembly auditorium here on Monday.
“Institutional delivery has registered a drastic improvement from 28.5 percent during 2005-06 to 52.3 percent in 2016-17, while registered pregnancies for which the mother received Mother and Child Protection (MCP) card has increased to 89 percent during 2016-17,” Mein said.
As per Health Management Information System (HMIS) data, he said full immunization has increased from 28 percent in 2005-06 to 68 percent in 2017-18.
Anemia in children aged 6-59 months also has decreased from 57 percent in 2005-06 to 50.7 percent in 2015-16.
The number of women with comprehensive knowledge that use of condom can reduce the chances of HIV/AIDS infection, has also increased, he said, adding that use of tobacco, alcohol among women has decreased by 25 percent during the period from 2005 to 2016. He attributed the success of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) and Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign (MRVC) to these frontline functionaries for mobilizing and motivating the parents.
“Due to these efforts, the MRVC campaign could be completed on time achieving 100 percent coverage this month,” he said.
Mein said that the target of vaccinating more than 90 percent of the infants with all vaccines within the first year of life would be a tough task without involvement of the ASHAs.
As on date, there are 3712 ASHAs in Arunachal Pradesh and each ASHA covers around 350-400 population.
Mein also emphasized on building capacity of the ASHAs through regular training.
“The ASHAs being the facilitators of healthcare, service provider and health activists need to be trained to achieve the desired healthcare outcomes,” he said.
Admitting that the ASHAs have not been receiving the rewards they deserved to be, Mein assured to look into their problems and grievances.
State BJP president Tapir Gao described the ASHAs as one of the main pillars of the National Health Mission, crucial for successful implementation of various health programs under it.
Gao urged the state government to look into the problem being faced by the pregnant women in rural and far flung areas in reaching hospital for institutional delivery.
He said that due to lack of road communication and transportation facilities, many women in rural areas prefer to give birth at their own homes.
Gao said that there are also instances women giving birth halfway to the hospital.
This is not only pushing such would be mothers to danger but also depriving the ASHAs taking care of these lactating mothers from their due remuneration given for institutional delivery.
Mein had assured to raise the issue raised by Gao in the very next cabinet meeting.
Health and Family Welfare Parliamentary Secretary Phurpa Tsering highlighted the fund provisions for the health sector in the state budget.
He informed that under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Rs 5 lakh medical insurance cover will be provided to a family belonging to BPL, for which Rs 50 crore has been kept in the budget.
Apart from this, he also informed that drugs de-addiction centre will be set up in all opium affected districts.
Earlier, the Managing Director, NHM, Director Health and Family Welfare, Tapasya Raghav highlighted the roles and responsibilities of the ASHAs.
Besides their assigned duties, the ASHAs will also be engaged in identifying diseases like breast cancer, diabetes and disaster management by imparting the necessary training, she said.
She exhorted the ASHAs to be sincere and dedicated in performing their duties to improve the community health, thereby building a healthy society.
Earlier, the best and second best ASHA workers from all the districts were felicitated with citation, and trophies.
Director, Regional Research Centre, North East Dr Bamin Tada, Regional Director (NHM) for Assam and Arunachal Dr Partho Gogoi, Director of TRIHMS Dr Moji Jini and senior doctors were present on the occasion.