Meghalaya Health Minister claim that the institutional delivery  has increased to 70%

Shillong, Dec 15: An ASHA Conference for East Khasi Hills District and Ri Bhoi District was held today at SICPAC, Mawkasiang, Shillong in the presence of  Health and  Family Welfare Minister, Shri James P. K. Sangma, Principal Secretary Health and  Family Welfare Department, Shri Sampath Kumar.

Others official wh were present are, Mission Director NHM, Shri Ramkumar S, Director of Health Services (MCH&FW) cum JT Mission Director NHM, Dr. L Challam, Director of Health Services (R), Dr. S.S. Nongbri, State and District Officials and staff of NHM. The conference is held specifically to celebrate the ASHAs of the two districts, a day dedicated to ASHAs.

In the conference, several activities were held including a welcome song by the ASHAs of Ri-Bhoi District, a short skit on awareness about the daily activities of an ASHA as she deals with looking after sanitation in her village, helping a mother whose minor daughter was abused, conducting a house visit and dealing with troubles at her own home. The short skit was skillfully presented by the ASHAs from Mawphlang PHC.

A felicitation ceremony was also held whereby the best performing ASHAs from each district and all 11 blocks, including best performing ASHA Facilitators at District and Block levels.

Certificates and awards were presented to each winner by the Hon’ble Health Minister along with the other dignitaries. The best performing Village Health Councils from all the 11 blocks were also awarded. Headmen who are also the chairperson of a village health council accepted the awards on behalf of their respective councils.

The ASHA Union also presented gifts to the Health & Family Welfare Minister along with the other dignitaries with a bag. The bag is meant to symbolize the things that an ASHA carries with her which is full and laden with her numerous responsibilities that she carries with her.

Three videos produced by the Department of Health and  Family Welfare and National Health Mission on Chief Minister’s Safe Motherhood Scheme, ASHA Pay and VHC were screened.

Health and  Family Welfare Minister, Shri James P. K. Sangma in his speech expresses his thanks and appreciation to all the ASHAs present. He also said that he understood the impact that an ASHA’s role is at the ground level and the overall health scenario in the state.

He said that he understood the challenges that are faced by ASHAs on a daily basis. He expressed his happiness to witness such an event and hopes that one day a conference will be conducted for all the 7000 ASHAs of the state.

The Minister also informed that in the last few years there have been a significant increase in performances by the state like the institutional delivery which has increased to 70% from 55% 2 years ago, reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates by over 30% which is due to the ASHAs’ constant dedication and hard work.

He also mentioned that with the support system given by the VHCs, the ASHAs would feel more empowered. He also informed everyone that 400 medical officers posts will be filled up soon and 150 new sub centers will be coming up in the state.

Mr. Sampath Kumar, Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare in his speech appreciated the ASHAs. He reminisced about the time when he first started working with ASHAs was when he was DC of WGH district in the year 2005. Back then the immunization rate was only at 14% for the whole state.

With the sincere efforts of the ASHAs, now in the year 2022, immunization has reached 90% in the state. He stated that the ASHAs have also played a very important role in helping the state reduce the number of malaria cases in the state and expresses his deep gratitude to them.

He also mentioned that Meghalaya is the only state in the country whereby payment for ASHAs is done via the ASHA Pay APP and since the use of the app, there has not been any delay in payment.

The Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Guideline – the Meghalaya Way developed by Center for Population Research, was also released at the function by the Health & Family Welfare Minister and the other dignitaries.


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