STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU/SRINAGAR: A total of 874 ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) of NHM, across J&K appeared in NIOS Theory Examination for Certification by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), which was conducted at all India Level on Sunday.
The theory Examination was conducted by NIOS in seven districts of J&K Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Anantnag, Budgam, Kulgam and Kupwara in the designated Centres. In the UT of J&K, 61% ASHAs of J&K have been certified by NIOS, which is proportionately the highest in the country.
MD, NHM J&K, Ayushi Sudan, while giving details informed that the certification of ASHAs has been envisaged to provide a legal and administrative framework within which the ASHA would be eligible and responsible for providing community level care for a range of illnesses. This would enhance the competency and professional credibility of ASHAs, allow her to use a set of drugs and point of care diagnostics appropriate to that level of care and also provide an assurance to the community on the quality of services being provided by the ASHA. Above all, it would promote a sense of self recognition and worth within the ASHA, Ayushi added.
She informed that at present, about 11263 ASHAs have been trained in all modules and various schemes and about 70% of these trained ASHAs are NIOS certified. The remaining ASHAs are being trained in all the modules and further shall be certified in a phased manner. Since NIOS has started online registrations now and eased the registration process, the department is targeting that 1000-1500 ASHAs get trained during every session for appearing in the All India Level ASHA Certification Examination by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) so that every ASHA gets certified. The focus is that after 2024, no trained ASHA is left uncertified in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pertinent to mention that ASHAs being engaged by NHM, J&K are working as abridge between Health Department and the community. All the health schemes of NHM/ J&K Govt. are being implemented by ASHAs at the grass root level. ASHA is a link through which the health care needs of the people are being catered. Viewing their importance for Health care delivery at ground level, NHM has started the project of certification of all ASHAs.
ASHA certification project is a Govt. of India initiative and third party accreditation for stabilizing level of quality in ASHA & their cadres as they deal with all the National Health Programmes for Pregnant ladies, vaccinations, communicable diseases, Tuberculosis, Leprosy etc. There is a tripartite arrangement between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to undertake the process of certification of ASHAs. ASHAs undergo ten days’ rigorous residential training schedule at district training sites along with practical and skill testsfor appearing in final theory examination for certification at All India Level. This flagship project is very closely monitored and reviewed strictly and periodically by Bhupinder Kumar, Secretary, Health & Medical Education, and Ayushi Sudan, Mission Director, NHM, J&K and has a direct and active support of Chairperson, NIOS, Prof. T.N Giri & Regional Incharge, NIOS Paramod Tripathi.