1720 ASHAs of J&K NHM, appear in NIOS certification exam

 JAMMU : A total of 1720 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) of National Health Mission, Jammu and Kashmir, today appeared in NIOS theory examination for certification by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).

Pertinently, the theory examination was conducted by NIOS in all the districts of J&K amid strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols.

According to district wise number of ASHAs appeared in the said examination, 87 ASHAs appeared in Jammu district out of 87 trained; 116 appeared in Doda out of 118 trained; 120 appeared in Kathua out of 120 trained; 80 appeared in Kishtwar out of 80 trained; 116 appeared Poonch out of 116 trained; 175 appeared in Rajouri out of 189 trained; 86 appeared in Ramban out of 88 trained; 59 appeared in Reasi out of 60 trained; 17appeared in Udhampur out of 17 trained.

Similarly, 120 appeared, out of 120 trained, in Anantnag; 96 appeared, out of 103 trained, in Bandipora; 109 appeared, out of 115 trained, in Baramulla; 116 appeared, out of 120 trained, in Budgam; 120 appeared, out of 120 trained, in Kulgam; 116 appeared, out of 120 trained, in Kupwara; 117 appeared, out of 121 trained, in Pulwama and 69 ASHAs appeared in Shopian district.

Despite various challenges, 22% of non-certified ASHAs in J&K appeared in the All India level NIOS examination. Till date, 41% ASHAs of J&K have been certified by NIOS, which is proportionately the highest in the country.

Yasin Choudhary, MD, J&K NHM, while giving details regarding the examination, informed that the certification of ASHAs has been envisaged to provide a legal and administrative framework within which the ASHA would be eligible and responsible for providing community level care for a range of illnesses. This would enhance the competency and professional credibility of ASHAs, allow her to use a set of drugs and point of care diagnostics appropriate to that level of care and also provide an assurance to the community on the quality of services being provided by the ASHA, he added.

ASHA certification project is a Government of India initiative and third party accreditation for stabilizing level of quality in ASHA and their cadres as they deal with all the National Health Programmes for pregnant ladies, vaccinations, communicable diseases, tuberculosis, leprosy etc.

At present, about 12622 ASHAs have been engaged in the UT of J&K and all shall be certified in a phased manner by NIOS in a period of two years. The department is targeting that 3000 ASHAs would appear in the All India Level ASHA Certification Examination in every six monthly session by NIOS to create a pool of health activists in J&K. The focus is on ensuring that after 2022 no ASHA is left uncertified in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

This flagship project is being closely monitored and reviewed by Vivek Bhardwaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education, J&K and Choudhary Mohammed Yasin, Mission Director, NHM, J&K and has a direct and active support of Chairperson, NIOS, Dr. Sitansu S. Sena and National Project Director, NIOS, Alok Mishra.