Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

WHO Honours India’s ASHA Volunteers for ‘Outstanding’ Work in Pandemic

WHO India has honoured Asha volunteers for their important role in providing healthcare in rural areas and for their efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 23, 2022

One million Indian ASHA volunteers in India were honoured by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 22 for their “critical role” in providing direct access to health facilities in rural areas and for their tireless efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Accredited Health Social Activists, or ASHA, volunteers, are government-licensed health workers who are the first point of contact in rural India. Most of them were brought at the height of the outbreak for door-to-door screening to identify coronavirus patients.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus announced six awards on Sunday for outstanding contributions to global health progress, leadership and commitment to regional health issues.

Dr Tedros nominates the winners of the World Health Organization’s Global Health Leaders Award.

The award ceremony, established in 2019, was part of the live-streamed high-level opening session of the 75th World Health Assembly.

“There is hope in winners, which in Hindi means hope. More than a million women volunteers in India have been honoured for their critical role in connecting the community to the health system, ensuring that people living in rural poverty have access to primary health care services, unlike the COVID-19 outbreak,” he pointed out.

Among the other notable honourees was the team of polio vaccination workers from Afghanistan, who were killed by armed gunmen in the country’s Takhar and Kunduz provinces in February this year.