Female frontline community healthcare workforce in India during Covid-19

Rao, Bhanupriya and Chowdhury, Sreya Dutta (2021) Female frontline community healthcare workforce in India during Covid-19. Project Report. BehanBox.

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Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 million Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), 2.6 million Anganwadi workers (AWWs) and an entire cadre of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) have been at the forefront of the emergency health response system in India. During the pandemic, these three cadres of healthcare workers managed tasks like monitoring and conducting syndromic surveys, disease surveillance, data reporting, public health messaging, delivering essential food and ration services, at the community level. They routinely clocked over 12 hours work days and were on call the rest of the time. Despite being the backbone of India’s public health response, female frontline workers from across the country have reported being underpaid, undervalued, and alienated without any state support or protection. This report explores the role played by ASHAs, AWWs and ANMs during the pandemic, by analysing the information gathered from interviewing 201 frontline health workers across the 3 cadres from ten states. It offers crucial insight into their increased burden of work, economic vulnerabilities brought by reduced income and delayed payments, absence of medical insurance and adequate state support, as well as their consequently deteriorating physical and mental health.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Authors: Rao, Bhanupriya and Chowdhury, Sreya Dutta
Uncontrolled Keywords: BehanBox, COVID-19, Pandemic, Community health workers (CHWs), National health system, Primary health centers, ASHA workers
Subjects: Technology > Medicine & health > Promotion of health
Full Text Status: Public
Note: "This report was created as part of the COVID-19 Research Funding Programme 2020, which received financial support from Azim Premji University. The facts, opinions and conclusions mentioned in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Azim Premji University. No warranties or guarantees are expressed or implied by the University. The University does not assume responsibility or liability for in respect of the data, material or opinions therein”.
URI: http://publications.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/id/eprint/2765
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