Include ASHAs in category of COVID-19 warriors: Tarigami

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 6: CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has urged Jammu and Kashmir administration to provide adequate incentives to ASHA workers, on the pattern of COVID-19 warriors of the Health and Medical Education Department, to boost their morale in these tough times.
In a letter to the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, Tarigami highlighted the issues confronting ASHA workers and urged him to include them in the incentive scheme for the COVID-warriors.
He said the decision of J&K administration to sanction special financial incentives to COVID-19 warriors of the Health and Medical Education Department is appreciable as it would benefit more than 17,000 employees, including resident doctors, medical officers, paramedical/nursing staff, drivers and class IV employees.
However, unfortunately, ASHA workers, who are the backbone of the health system in rural areas working on meagre incentives, have been left out. Apart from their routine work, like management of pregnant women, lactating mothers, ensuring access to antenatal care, institutional delivery, postnatal care, immunization, family planning services, nutrition services, follow-up of TB patients, they also perform surveillance activities, awareness generation and facilitating access to COVID-19 diagnostics and monitoring positive home isolated patients, CPI (M) leader added.
Tarigami said ASHA workers are in daily and direct contact with the community; they are responsible for collecting information on all health indicators and helping the community to access treatment. They are the first to come in contact with suspected COVID-19 patients and help them in getting screened and accessing treatment; they are also maintaining records of those patients and their contacts. Besides they are not having any Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) while dealing with these patients. Therefore, it is requested that adequate incentives/ wages may kindly be provided to these ASHA workers to boost their morale in these tough times.