ACCREDITED SOCIAL HEALTH ACTIVISTS IN HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM: RECRUITMENT, ROLE AND PERCEIVED REASONS FOR JOINING SERVICES
Background: As per National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), India launched ASHA programme in the year 2006, to bridge the gap between health services and the underserved population of community. We conducted a study in Murshidabad district of West Bengal to describe socio-demographic profile, recruitment process and perceived reason for joining the health services.
Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study among 237 ASHAs and the result was analysed in Epi info.
Results – Of the total 237 ASHAs interviewed, one third (n=79) ASHAs were Muslims in that district where two third of the population belonged to the same religious community and one third were not local residents of their areas. More than 90% of the ASHAs were recruited by village pradhan and or village panchayat. Majority (44%) joined for financial benefits. Majority (67%) of the ASHA had to serve more than 1000 populations and only 10% of the ASHA were trained in module 6 & 7.
Conclusion: Recruitment process of ASHA was not in line with the prescribed guideline and reasons for joining the services as perceived by ASHAs was not matching with the programme objective.
Key words: ASHA, Perceived reasons, recruitment, NRHM, Murshidabad