Delhi was the first state to take up ASHA initiative in an urban setting on a large scale.
New Delhi: In an attempt to further improve the quality of healthcare for Delhiites, the AAP government is all set to double the incentives of all accredited social health activists (ASHA) in the national capital. The proposal to this effect has already been approved by health minister Satyendra Jain. It is awaiting final nod from the city Cabinet.
ASHA scheme is a flagship programme of the Union government under the National Rural Health Mission, now National Health Mission, with the objective to improve availability of quality health care to all citizens, particularly to the poor and vulnerable sections of the society.
Delhi was the first state to take up ASHA initiative in an urban setting on a large scale. ASHA provides linkage and helps improve the health indices for about 1 crore people living in vast pockets of urban slums and difficult areas depending upon health indicator; poor sanitation; water supply; prevalent malnutrition; communicable diseases burden; and an adverse female sex ratio.
The government plans to increase the incentives of these activists, who carry out core activities like antenatal care; immunisation programmes; infant and child care; nutrition; and family planning related activities from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000.
It has also decided to double the incentives of these activists who accompany women for institutional delivery; help in installation of household or community toilets; help in getting vasectomy done; report maternal or infant mortality; track malnourished children; screen senior citizens twice a year; facilitate cataract surgery; and ensure safe delivery of high risk women. The present incentives for these services range between Rs 20 to Rs 500.
The government is also planning to provide Rs 1,000 to these activists for the purchase of two uniforms and equip them with a kit comprising haemoglobin meter, BP apparatus, weighing scale, and pulse oxymeter.
It will also ensure that the activists themselves get maternity benefits of Rs 2,000 every month during the prenatal period of upto six months.