Mysore/Mysuru: Over 1,800 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers attached to the District Health Department have lent shoulder to the Government in the battle against Coronavirus.
ASHA workers have identified themselves as Corona warriors by visiting homes of all those under quarantine and collecting vital statistics, that is very much useful in the fight against the deadly pandemic, which has caused havoc across the globe, claiming more than one lakh lives.
Even as the people of the district are worried over the spread of the virus, ASHA workers have lent support to the District Administration in stopping the disease from hitting the community transmission stage.
While doctors, nurses and other para-medical staff are engaged in taking care of COVID-19 patients inside hospitals, ASHA workers are carrying out the outdoor task of visiting households, checking out the health of the people who are under isolation and quarantine and collecting data about persons who are symptomatic and those who were in primary and secondary contacts with the infected, while risking their own health.
ASHA workers are busy visiting households both in urban and rural areas carrying out health checks. They are also tasked with assisting the Police in ensuring that all home-quarantined persons do not come out of their homes for any reason.
A total of 1,824 ASHA workers are serving in the district, including 92 in the city, and 280 in the Mysuru taluk, 320 in Nanjangud taluk, 209 in K.R. Nagar taluk, 253 in T. Narasipur taluk, 240 in H.D. Kote taluk, 192 in Periyapatna taluk and 220 in Hunsur taluk.
All ASHA workers have been assigned individual duties which chiefly includes visiting every household and collect date regarding the health condition of every member in a house. In case if any person is found symptomatic, they will alert the health department. They will also check if any outsider is staying in the house.
Also, it is their job to refer migrant workers who have returned to their homes following the lockdown to hospitals for undergoing a thorough health check-up. But the real challenge for ASHA workers come in red zones such as the ones identified in the city, several villages in Nanjangud taluk located around Jubilant Generics, the epicentre of the spread of the virus, border villages in H.D. Kote taluk and tribal hamlets across the district.
Also, several ASHA workers are finding it difficult to elicit data from residents, both in urban and rural areas. A few ASHA workers in Bengaluru were assaulted by a group of people who were angry with the authorities for ordering thorough checks.
They also carry the risk of being attacked during household visits, especially in sensitive areas. ASHA workers are engaged in making the people Corona-conscious and also in the distribution of pamphlets that explain the dos and don’ts, besides educating them on the need for compulsory maintenance of social distancing.
Their task also include advising people to stay indoors for their own safety and health and to educate them on using hand sanitisers and wearing face-mask. With their task more challenging than before, several ASHA workers are found taking the help of lady nurses from nearby primary health centre and a Gram Panchayat members.
They believe that doing so will ensure their physical safety. At present, ASHA workers get a monthly honorarium of Rs.4,000 and now, the Government has announced an additional Rs,1,000 for Coronavirus duty.
Overall, it may be said that ASHA workers are getting kudos for all the work that they are doing at this crucial juncture, risking their own safety at a time when the deadly COVID-19 pandemic has caused great panic among the population.