Understanding the Hope Harbingers—ASHA, the Women Foot Soldiers of India’s National Rural Health Mission
This paper brings forth the case of a section of the Community Health Workers of India, called as the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA). ASHAs are young, school-educated rural women trained to promote health in their community. They are the grassroots level health care delivery mechanism for the Government of India’s National Rural Health Mission. This study was conducted in Kumrup District, Guwahati, India. The aim of the study was to understand the impact of the program and the ASHAs on public health distribution in the district, their motivations, expectations, road blocks and hurdles. Also the study aimed at understanding the general satisfaction level of an ASHA due to the above mentioned aspects peculiar to the district and its impact on her performance of assigned duties. The paper concludes with possible design directions which can enhance the impact of the program by improving the satisfaction level of the ASHAs.
KeywordsPublic health distribution at bottom of pyramid ASHA workers National rural health mission
Our sincere thanks to North Guwahati PHC officials and ASHAs and the members of the community who participated in the interviews and focus group discussions and provided us with the valuable information.
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