An intensive training programme has been launched by the Government for Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers to provide qualitative healthcare to the rural population.
The induction training of ASHA is for 23 days in five episodes. After a period of six months of her functioning in the village, she is sensitized on HIV/AIDS issues including STI, RTI, prevention and referrals.
She is also trained on new born care. The Central Government bears the cost of training, incentives and medical kits. The remaining component is funded under Financial Envelope given to the States under the programme. ASHA is given a drug kit containing generic AYUSH and allopathic formulations for common ailments. The drug kit is replenished from time to time.
One of the key components of national rural health mission is to provide every village with a trained female community health activist called ASHA. Selected from the village itself and accountable to it, ASHA works as an interface between the community and the public health system.
There are more than 8.85 lac ASHA workers at present. Over 7.99 lakh ASHAs have been provided with drug kits so far.
ASHA acts as a bridge between the ANM and the village. She is accountable to the Panchayat. She is an honorary volunteer, receiving performance-based compensation for promoting universal immunization, referral and escort services for RCH, construction of household toilets, and other healthcare delivery programmes.
She facilitates preparation and implementation of the Village Health Plan along with Anganwadi worker, ANM, functionaries of other Departments and Self Help Group members.
The National Rural Health Mission was launched by the Prime Minister on April 12, 2005 to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to the rural population. Under the NRHM, the difficult areas with unsatisfactory health indicators were classified as special focus States to ensure greatest attention where needed.
The thrust of the mission was on establishing a fully functional, community owned, decentralized health delivery system with inter-sectoral convergence at all levels, to ensure simultaneous action on a wide range of determinants of health like water, sanitation, education, nutrition, social and gender equality.