Frontline Healthcare Heroes Deserve Better: How DIISHA is determined to help

DIISHA: YugasaBot ASHA Health Workers

New Delhi (India), December 4: The recent protests by Anganwadi workers in Bihar’s Patna have highlighted the immense hardships faced by frontline health workers in India. Earlier, now, and then from different parts of the country, there have been reports of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) not being satisfied with their honorarium as compared to the workload they bear. But this time, the heavy-handed police response to the ASHAs protests has drawn nationwide attention. This incident underscores the urgent need to improve working conditions and compensation for (ASHA) workers and Anganwadi workers. 

Vivek Mittal, Founder Director of YugasaBot, stated, “These frontline health workers have been the backbone of our healthcare system, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Making ASHAs more trained and supported is the need of the hour, and it can be best done using the latest technology most efficiently.” 

To address this issue, the Digital Innovations & Interventions for Sustainable Healthtech Action (DIISHA) initiative aims to empower rural healthcare workers. DIISHA will provide digital training, data collection tools, telemedicine access, and analytics to upgrade the capabilities of ASHA workers. Crucially, DIISHA will also focus on ‘recognizing, rewarding, and reimbursing’ ASHA workers fairly for their services. 

Mr Abhijeet Sinha, Program Director of DIISHA, expressed his concerns about the recent incident in Bihar and explained, “DIISHA is determined to bring about a paradigm shift in how we value and support our frontline health workers. Our digital platform will not only enhance their skills but also provide them with the recognition and compensation they deserve.”

The AI-enabled, multilingual Yugasa Bot is part of DIISHA and will be pivotal in training and assisting ASHA workers 24/7. By paying ASHA workers for the health data they collect, DIISHA will enable them to receive fair compensation for their labor. DIISHA can turn out to be a very useful tool for the state government to address this long-pending issue of dissatisfied and over burdened frontline public health workers. 

DIISHA’s timing couldn’t be better as dissatisfaction builds over the poor working conditions of ASHA workers. With its AI-enabled digital tools and emphasis on rewarding ASHA’s work, DIISHA aims to give these healthcare heroes the respect and livelihood they deserve. The concept of revitalization of public healthcare through DIISHA’s support of frontline health workers will soon be embraced by multiple states of the country.

DIISHA also plans to collaborate with the Bihar government to find solutions and reduce the burden on the state. As Sinha stated, “DIISHA is trying to get in touch with the Resident Commissioner of Bihar, Shri Kundan Kumar, to resolve this issue and take the burden off the state government’s shoulders.”

The mistreatment of frontline health workers in India must end. Initiatives like DIISHA offer hope for positive change by leveraging technology to uplift and empower rural healthcare providers. Supporting ASHA and Anganwadi workers is crucial for building a robust public health system. The time has come to recognize their invaluable contributions and ensure they receive their well-deserved dues.

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