HYDERABAD: In these testing times when many refuse to even step out of their homes, the Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) and Auxiliary Nurses and Midwives (ANM) are travelling on foot and conducing door-to-door surveys of Covid-19 affected areas to identify the positive cases.
When asked if they have any demands from the government, all they request is Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and a bit of appreciation for the onerous job they are doing.
But unfortunately the reaction or response to their commendable service has not been very encouraging to say the least. In fact, on Sunday, an Asha worker was verbally abused by residents of a Basthi near Aziz Nagar in Tolichowki of Hyderabad, where she was interviewing people as part of the Covid-19 survey. The police had to be called, before they escorted the team out to safety.
Asha workers are community health workers instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). They are now entrusted with the task of collecting data from places where there might be positive Covid cases and to check prevalence of other symptomatic cases, and to assess how many people need to be quarantined.
Speaking to Express, Anitha, the Asha worker who copped the verbal abuse on Sunday, said, “I started asking people questions such as how many people live in the house, how many male and female members are there. But they started verbally abusing me, asking why I need to know about number of male and female members. The police were called and we eventually left.”