ASHA workers boycott work; contact tracing hit

Demanding a fixed honorarium of ₹12,000 and adequate personal protection equipment, ASHA workers in the State stopped work on Friday.

Following this, tracing of primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 positive patients and coordination work for quarantining of asymptomatic patients, apart from regular activities including immunisation and mother/child tracking, have been hit across the State.

District representatives of ASHA workers, who assembled on the premises of the State Health Directorate at Anand Rao Circle in Bengaluru, submitted a memorandum to Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey.

The frontline workers, who are the first point of contact between patients and hospitals, especially in rural areas, allege that they are not being given PPE kits and hence are at risk of contracting infection while on field.

Moreover, what they get now is a mere ₹4,000 fixed honorarium from the State and another ₹2,000 from the Centre. “Although we have also been carrying out our regular duties of health surveys pertaining to immunisation and mother and child tracking, our performance-based incentives are not being paid regularly. It is difficult to make ends meet with such a meagre pay,” said D. Nagalakshmi, State Secretary of Karnataka Rajya Samyukta Asha Karyakarteyara Sangha.

“Despite several appeals to the authorities, our demands are not being considered. We hope the government will at least now pay attention to our problems,” she added.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 7:42:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/asha-workers-boycott-work-contact-tracing-hit/article32040458.ece

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