New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed ASHA workers after they were conferred with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General's Global Health Leaders' Award, and said they are at the forefront of ensuring a healthy India. India's ten lakh all-women ASHA volunteers were honoured by the WHO on Sunday for their crucial role in providing direct access to healthcare facilities in rural areas and their indefatigable efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Accredited Social Health Activists -- or ASHA volunteers -- are Indian government's affiliated health-care workers who are the first point of contact in rural India. "Delighted that the entire team of ASHA workers have been conferred the @WHO Director-General's Global Health Leaders' Award," Prime Minister Modi tweeted. "Congratulations to all ASHA workers. They are at the forefront of ensuring a healthy India. Their dedication and determination is admirable," he said. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced six awards on Sunday to recognise outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership and commitment to regional health issues. "The Accredited Social Health Activist Workers (ASHA) are more than 1 million female volunteers in #India, honored for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system and ensuring that those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services," the WHO said in a tweet.
"ASHA - means 'hope' in Hindi. These health workers provide maternal care & immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension & tuberculosis & core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation & healthy living," it said.—PTI