ASHA workers entitled to paid maternity leave: Telangana Health Minister
The minister specifically mentioned Karimnagar district, highlighting the need to enhance performance in various parameters and reduce the rate of caesarean sections.
HYDERABAD: Health Minister T Harish Rao on Monday made an important announcement benefiting Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in the State. ASHAs will now be entitled to paid maternity leave, bringing them in line with other women employees. The decision was made during a monthly review meeting held.
The minister acknowledged the crucial role played by ASHAs and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in providing quality medical services at the grassroots level. ASHAs had previously resorted to protests and demonstrations to secure wage hikes and timely remuneration. However, the minister highlighted the significant progress made in Telangana since its formation, including a threefold increase in wages. Currently, ASHAs receive a monthly salary of `9,750, while their counterparts in other States receive only Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000.
During the meeting, the minister emphasised the rise in the rate of institutional deliveries. “In April, nearly 69% of all deliveries took place in government hospitals, a remarkable improvement compared to the 30 per cent reported in 2014. Sangareddy, Narayanpet, Medak, and Jogulamba Gadwal districts exhibited outstanding performance,” he said. Efforts will now be directed towards districts where the proportion of deliveries in government hospitals is below the State average.
The minister specifically mentioned Karimnagar district, highlighting the need to enhance performance in various parameters and reduce the rate of caesarean sections. To address this issue, a team led by the Joint Director of the maternity department will conduct a week-long field observation, followed by the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure safer and more accessible birthing options for women.