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Government Mulling Incentives For ASHA Workers To Mobilise Individuals For Sickle Cell Disease Screening

The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission is being implemented in 17 high prevalence states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, and Uttarakhand

Government Mulling Incentives For ASHA Workers To Mobilise Individuals For Sickle Cell Disease Screening
ASHA workers serve as the first point of contact for health-related needs in the community

New Delhi: The government is planning to give incentives to ASHA health activists for mobilising eligible individuals for sickle cell disease screening and distribution of sickle cell cards for prevention and early detection of the disease. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood disorders and a National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission has been launched to tackle the burden of the disease in India, particularly among tribals. The mission aims to eliminate sickle cell disease before 2047 and entails screening of seven crore population in the age range of zero to 40 years; pre-marital and pre-conceptional genetic counselling for prevention of sickle cell disease and holistic care for those who have the disease across both primary and secondary public health facilities. The screening will be undertaken at both facility level through the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWC) and in the community through screening camps.

Also Read: Centre Launches ‘Awareness Campaign And Training Of Trainers’ Initiative To Raise Awareness On Sickle Cell Anaemia 

To take the mission forward, the Union Health Ministry is planning to bring in a provision of giving incentive to the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), official sources said.

About 9.15 lakh ASHAs are in position in rural areas and 76,795 in urban areas, the sources said. The sources said,

The current mission aims to cover seven crore population with screening and counselling for prevention and care of people with SCD in three years. It is proposed that each ASHA receives Rs 20 to mobilise each individual for sickle cell disease screening using Government of India approved point of care tests through public health facilities and an additional Rs 20 for ensuring each screened individual has received the appropriate sickle cell card. ASHAs are an important part of the National Health Mission. They bridge the community and the public health system, playing the role of health activists. Their primary responsibilities include creating awareness about health and its social determinants, mobilising the community for local health planning, and encouraging the utilisation of existing health services.

ASHAs serve as the first point of contact for health-related needs in the community and work towards increasing accountability of the health system, they noted.

The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission is being implemented in 17 high prevalence states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, and Uttarakhand.

It focuses on universal screening of all individuals up to 40 years of age using mass screening approach.

States have the flexibility to either follow a one-step approach (using government approved point of care tests as a one-step confirmatory test) or two-step approach (initial screening using solubility test and then confirmation using government approved point of care tests).

Watch: Vision Is To Eradicate Sickle Cell Anaemia By 2047: Dr Mansukh Mandaviya

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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