Sunday, October 28, 2007

Accredited Social Health Activist

Information Technology could be used effectively in medical sector so that people living in remote areas could have access to healthcare. Information Technology should be used in Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and also in extending the initiatives in tele-medicine field with particular emphasis on providing healthcare access to remote areas of the country.

Such technologies can be effectively used in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) initiatives. In India the government is in the process of having one dedicated health facilitator -- ASHA or Accredited Social Health Activist in each of the six lakh villages of the country so that the medical needs of the people living in remote areas could be taken care of. About 2.25 lakh such ASHAs are already in place.

ASHA will be a health activist in the community who will create awareness on health and its social determinants, mobilize the community towards local health planning and increased utilization of existing health services. She would be a promoter of good health practices who would also provide a minimum package of curative care as appropriate and feasible at her level and ensure timely referrals for cases requiring higher level of care/intervention.

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