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India


Covid warriors: 1.6 lakh ASHAs at forefront in UP

Covid warriors: 1.6 lakh ASHAs at forefront in UP

New Delhi, Jun 30 (UNI) When Suresh Kumar, a 20-year-old migrant worker from Bahraich, travelled in a truck for five days in early May 2020 to return home from Mumbai, it was the fortuitous intervention of local ASHA Chandra Prabha who informed the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the district, which advised him to self-quarantine and contain the possible spread of Coronavirus in his Nibuhi Kala village.

Suresh, recorded his details with Chandra Prabha on his return to the village. She informed the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the district which advised Suresh to self-quarantine and also counselled his family members on the steps to be taken during home quarantine. She regularly paid follow up visits and kept in touch with the family.

Her alertness, motivational skills and support ensured that as soon as Suresh began experiencing symptoms, he was sent to the Community Health Centre, Chitaura, a designated Covid Care facility and that his family members and fellow migrants were referred for Covid testing.

As the country sees a surge in Covid cases and the influx of migrant population from hotspot areas, a major challenge facing Uttar Pradesh and other states, not equipped to face the onslaught of the disease, was to cater to the healthcare needs of returnees and arrest the spread in its rural population. The Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) have played a critical role in supporting the state’s Covid-19 management during this crisis.

"In a gigantic exercise, UP’s 1.6 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 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement on Tuesday.

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