1.5 lakh ASHAs in UP tracked over 30.43 lakh migrant returnees

New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): Amid COVID-19 pandemic in the country, ASHA workers have played a critical role in supporting the Uttar Pradesh government in managing the coronavirus crisis.

With the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and the influx of migrant population from hotspot areas, one of the major challenges in Uttar Pradesh was to cater to the healthcare needs of returnees and arrest the spread in its rural population.

As per an official release of Union Health Ministry, UP's 1.5 lakh ASHAs have tracked over nearly 30.43 lakh migrant returnees in two phases -- 11.24 lakh in the first and 19.19 lakh in the second phase. They have assisted in contact tracing and community level surveillance.

"The ASHAs not only identified 7,965 persons with symptoms but also regularly followed up on their health status. They have facilitated sample collection from 2,232 returnees of which 203 were found to be positive and were referred to COVID health care services. Nigrani Samitis (Vigilance Committee) have been formed in all the villages under the Gram Pradhan. The Samiti members/ volunteers community patrols keep in touch with the ASHAs and provide her details of the migrants in the village, who in turn help with the follow up on the migrants," said the release.

ASHAs have also assisted the Panchayati Raj Department in the development of the community quarantine centres, in buildings like Anganwadi centres and primary schools. They have ensured the adoption of Aarogya Setu app at the community level through awareness generation and supporting in its installation.

The National Health Mission supports nearly 10 lakh ASHAs in rural and urban areas of most parts of the country. Nearly 1/6th (1.67 lakh) are from Uttar Pradesh, said the release.

An Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) is a community health worker instituted by the government of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as a part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). (ANI)