Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)
The National Rural Health Mission launched on the 12th April 2005, seeks to provide effective, efficient and affordable health care to the rural population in eighteen states with weak public health indicators.
One of the key components of the mission is to provide every village in the country with a trained female community health activist –The ASHA or the Accredited Social Health Activist. ASHA will be the first port of call for any health related demands to access health services. ASHA will be a health activist in the community who will create awareness on health and its social determinants and mobilize the community towards local health planning and increased utilization and accountability of the existing health services. She would be a promoter of good health practices. She will also provide a minimum package of curative care as appropriate and feasible for that level and make timely referrals.
With the sixth year of implementation of NRHM in the state the strategies to strengthen the ASHA programme year after year has always been a continuous effort. The selection of ASHA in Meghalaya has been such that she has been selected from the village itself and accountable to it. She works on voluntary basis and is actively involved in providing various assistance and help to the community especially with regard to the health services. In the state the ASHA is also the member secretary of the Village Health and Sanitation committee (VHSC). At present Meghalaya has 6258 ASHAs in place and have been trained in Module 1-5.