The film showcases ASHA, ANM workers as they go about their daily rounds in villages and small towns helping their communities in face of a global pandemic
At the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic is the relentless effort of hundreds of frontline health workers. In rural India, this battle against the pandemic is being led by an army of women health workers – the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) or frontline health workers. Population Foundation of India (PFI) works closely with these health workers at the grassroots level and has produced a short film celebrating their exemplary courage. The film showcases ASHA and ANM workers as they go about their daily rounds in villages and small towns helping their communities in the face of a global pandemic.
The film, which is a little over a minute long, highlights the work health workers on the ground such as administering the polio vaccine, working with pregnant women, and educating people about social distancing and hygiene. ANMs and ASHAs are trained in basic healthcare and focus the core of their work in looking after the requirements of children, adolescents and women in their communities. Much of their work also includes raising awareness and educating their communities on issues around family planning, vaccinations, maternal health, nutrition and child health.
The last three months, under lockdown has been incredibly difficult for frontline workers. In parts of the country they have faced discrimination and even violence because of their work with COVID-19 patients. Moreover, with transport services restricted, accessibility to healthcare facilities has been a huge concern. But these health workers are trying their best to mitigate the crisis. “These women are warriors who have not just been performing their regular duties taken on additional responsibilities to raise awareness, conduct house to house surveys, monitor returning migrants and educate their communities on the precautions to take to curb the pandemic. To ensure they have the support they require to continue their work we should provide them with stable employment, training and social security benefits. They must be empowered with tools for health education and communication for behaviour change. This film is a small gesture compared to their tremendous work on the ground,” added Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India.
You can watch the short film here: