Bengaluru, (Asian independent) Karnataka’s 42,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) have surveyed 1.59 crore households as part of vulnerability mapping survey to check on high risk people amid the Covid pandemic, an official said on Friday.
“In a one-time survey to identify households with the elderly, persons with comorbidities, and immunity compromised individuals, about 1.59 crore households were covered,” said an official.
Popularly known as Asha workers, they have proved to be a vital cog in the southern state’s fight against the pandemic, conducting household surveys, screening inter-state passengers, migrant workers and others in communities for the virus symptoms.
“Ashas regularly monitor such high-risk groups in their area with periodicity of follow-up visits, varying from once in a day in the containment zones to once every 15 days in other areas,” he said.
The health workers also visit the residences of people suffering from Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), including high risk individuals who reached out to the state Covid helplines.
Illustrating the work of a typical Asha worker, the official gave the example of Annapurana, an Asha worker from Tunganagar in Shivamogga district who covers a population of 3,000 people in a slum.
She has been an Asha worker since 2015 when urban Asha was introduced as part of the National Health Mission.
“Urban Asha workers have been at the forefront in disseminating various awareness activities in the fever clinics and swab collection centres. They have also actively screened cases of ILI and SARI,” the official said.
Likewise, they also manned international and interstate check-posts for screening cases.
In rural settings, Asha workers are part of the Rural Task Force headed by the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) to meet the needs of both Covid and non-Covid requirements.
Currently, Karnataka is battling 10,608 active Covid cases while total cases are around 300 shy of 20,000.