Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)

Summary:

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.

Status of the programme:

Selection:

The selection of ASHA in Meghalaya has been such that she has been selected from the village itself and accountable to it. At present Meghalaya has 6258 ASHAs in place.

Sl.No Name of the District No. of ASHA in position
1 East Khasi Hills District 1033
2 West Khasi Hills District 1028
3 Jaintia Hills District 552
4 Ri Bhoi District 534
5 East Garo Hills District 952
6 West Garo Hills District 1617
7 SouthGaro Hills District 542
Total 6258

It has been made sure that at least one ASHA is selected for every village in the presence of all the representative of the village, community members and members from the health system. And it is also ensured that all selected ASHA are trained to work as interface between the community and the public health system.

Training:

Capacity building of ASHA is critical in enhancing her effectiveness. It has been envisaged that training will help to equip her with necessary knowledge & skills resulting in achievement of scheme’s objectives. Capacity building of ASHA has been seen as a continuous process.

ASHAs in the state have now completed five rounds of training. The training of ASHAs on module 1-5 has been completed during 2008-10. Reorientation training for ASHAs on module 1-5 has also been completed and 6227 ASHAs have attended the same. Training of ASHA Facilitators & ASHAs on module 6&7 is ongoing. For module 1-4 the ASHAs were trained by the Block Training Team and for module 5 the ASHA were trained by 46 NGO members. The State has 3 state trainers who have in turn trained 65 District trainers in module 6&7. These trainers are currently involved in training the ASHAs and ASHA facilitators in different training sites of the state.

Support Structure:

As a step to ensure overall success of the programme in the State and to provide full support to the ASHAs, the State ASHA Resource Centre (SARC) has been set up consisting of one State ASHA Nodal Officer, one State ASHA Programme Manager and one State Community Process Coordinator. The State ASHA Resource Centre (SARC) is undertaking the task of supporting & strengthening the ASHA programme and other community related activities. To further support the State ASHA Resource Centre (SARC), 7 District ASHA Nodal Officer & 7nos District Community Process Coordinators (DCPCs have been notified & inducted at the district level, 39 Block Programme Managers cum Block ASHA Coordinators have been notified at the block level and 312 ASHA Facilitators have inducted into the programme.

For better support and assistance to the ASHA’s in the field, orientation and meetings at every level and on a regular basis have been conducted. Complimenting the best performing ASHA on their performance every month has also been one of the initiatives taken up by some districts and blocks in the state.

Activities performed by ASHAs

  • Mobilizing pregnant mothers for ANC and escorting them for Institutional delivery.
  • Mobilizing Children & mothers for immunization.
  • Conducting home visits & surveys.
  • DOTS Provider
  • Collecting blood slides.
  • Salt testing & water testing.
  • Conducting VHSC meetings.
  • Organizing VHND & other health activities in the village.
  • Motivator of family planning.
  • Depot holder of basic drugs.
  • Promoter of healthy lifestyle.
  • Assisting ANM in Home Deliveries.
  • ASHA Photos Collection.
  • ASHA Database as on 01-04-2016.
  • State ASHA Resource Center (SARC) Contacts
  • Achievement for the last five years
  • ASHA & Community Processes Status Report as on May 2013
  • Progress regarding training of ASHA & ASHA Facilitator in Meghalaya