ASHA Workers’ Contribution To Indian Health Sector Rewarded By WHO

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ASHA workers honoured by WHO on Sunday. The recipients of the Global Health Leaders’ Award were congratulated by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Monday. Showing his delight, PM Modi said that the ASHA workers were at the forefront of ensuring a “healthy India.”

PM Modi retweeted the World Health Organisation’s tweet on ASHA workers and wrote, “Delighted that the entire team of ASHA workers have been conferred the @WHO Director-General’s Global Health Leaders’ Award. Congratulations to all ASHA workers. They are at the forefront of ensuring a healthy India. Their dedication and determination is admirable.”

This was in response to the WHO acknowledging India’s ASHA workers and their contribution to health care, particularly during the pandemic. “The Accredited Social Health Activist Workers (ASHA) are more than 1 million female volunteers in India, honoured for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system and ensuring that those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services @WHA75,” tweeted WHO.

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ASHA Workers Honoured By WHO

Explaining the meaning of ASHA, the WHO tweeted that it means hope in Hindi and that these workers provide maternal care and immunisation for children against vaccine preventive diseases, community health care, treatment of hypertension and tuberculosis, apart from dealing with the core areas of health promotion in order to achieve nutrition, sanitation and healthy living.

It was part of the 75th World Health Assembly. In the opening address of the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented convergence of inequity, conflict, food security, the climate crisis and a pandemic, this award recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to protecting and promoting health around the world. These awardees embody lifelong dedication, relentless advocacy, a commitment to equity, and selfless service of humanity.”

The international organisation had announced six awards which recognised outstanding contributors to advancing global health, leadership and commitment to regional health issues.

Apart from the ASHA workers, the awardees included Dr Paul Farmer from Rwanda, who was the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners in Health; Dr Ahmed Hankir, who is a British Lebanese psychiatrist who developed a debilitating episode of psychological distress; Ludmila Sofia Oliveira Varela, who is a youth sports advocate from Cabo Verde; Polio workers in Afghanistan and Yohei Sasakawa, who is the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination.