Shimla, Dec 11
The district Administration Shimla today passed an order directing Anganwari Workers to
serve under Chief Medical Officer of Health Department giving their services in activities of Himachal Pradesh Suraksha Abhiyan launched by the state Government recently, failing to which they would have to face the action in violation of duties under the stringent law. Exercising special power under sec 34 of Disaster Management Act 2005, the DC Shimla directed Anganwadi workers which come under the ambit of the Women and Child Development Department to serve under CMO to execute the HSA.
However Association and Union belonging to Anganwari workers had lodged protest against their deployment in the department as their services are not covered under the Health department being not trained and paid for the health sector.
State Government while launching this drive had stated that it would deploy activists of Mahila Mandal to conduct door to door health check up of people in the non-Covid health services. Yet perhaps as they were not trained even the same idea declined.
On the other hand the state Government had been taking the services of Asha Workers for identification of Covid cases and related symptoms in the field. However they have been hired by the state government for the purpose of dissemination of Health Services under NRHM ( National Rural Health Mission) a centre funded programme to import health services to people at door step.
The Anganwari workers are deployed mainly to serve for the nutritional care of mother and child serving under the ICDS activities through wide networks of nearly 18000 anganwaries setup under the nutritional and child care. Strong reactions were witnessed from the unions of Anganwadi workers to deploy them in the health activities, is the reason that state government warned them to act under the provisions of Disaster Management Act.
The state health administrations coping with the Covid health services and a sudden spike in cases were recently snubbed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court over not deploying sufficient staff in the rural health centres and the primary health care institutions.
The state which is coping with the sudden outbreak of Covid -19 and the death of more than 770 people is facing acute shortage of trained staff in the health sector. The Government ambulatory and health services in the hospitals also came under sharp
criticism as it was coping with shortage of trained staff, lack of ready supply of oxygen, other health equipment and trained manpower to handle the ventilators and equipment.
There is psychosis and fear among the frontline workers as number of them have been contracted to the pandemic. Besides they have been serving under difficult circumstances as they did not get first shot of Covid vaccine so far and confusion prevail among them over its effectiveness also.