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International Journal of Recent Trends in Science and Technology, ISSN 2277-2812 E-ISSN: 2249-8109
Volume 9, Issue 3, January 2014 pp 358-360
Role of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) Worker in Screening for Low Vision at the Grass Root Level
Pina Soni*, Shilpa Bhatt**, Priyanka Gupta***
*Assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology, GMERS Medical College, Sola, Ahmedabad, Gujrat, INDIA.
**Assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology, GMERS Medical College, Gandhinagar, Gujrat, INDIA.
***Senior Resident, Department of Ophthalmology, M. and J. Institute of Ophthalmology Ahmedabad, Gujrat, INDIA.
Academic Editor : Dr. Aher K. R.
Aim: To evaluate the usefulness of ASHA worker in detecting patient with low vision at village level. Methodology: Government of India launched National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to address the health needs of the rural population and introduced a band of community based functionaries, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA). Under the Swarnim Gujarat Project (18-02-2010 to 30-03-2010), 40 selected ASHA were trained in Ranpur taluka (population-87914), Ahmedabad district, Gujarat. They detected patients with vision < 6/60. These patients were evaluated and diagnosed by ophthalmic assistants and referred to higher center, if required. Observation: 40 trained ASHA workers screened 80610 (91.69%) people out of the total population (87914) of Ranpur, which indicates good coverage. 434 patients had vision < 6/60 (prevalence of blindness-5.38 per thousand). Conclusion: ASHA is a fountainhead of community participation. Better penetration of health services armed with ASHA project can go long way in decreasing the prevalence of blindness in the nation as a hole. The major cause of low vision in India is still cataract which, luckily, is a preventable cause of blindness. However, better participation by the locals and monetary benefits to ASHA can help in better achievement of schemes objectives.