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A ray of hope for primary health care delivery in India

Quiet winds of change are sweeping villages in two blocks of Jhajjar district in Haryana where as part of their expanded role, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) are assisting the health authorities in screening people in the community who are at high risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Using a hand-held electronic device specially developed for this purpose, the ASHA’s have managed to visit people in their homes and detect undiagnosed cases of high blood pressure. She has also been able to motivate the people to visit the nearby primary health centre and get treatment.

ASHA workers are now getting ready to screen people at high risk of diabetes and kidney disease. They also feel that they can help reduce maternal mortality if woman with high blood pressure before or after pregnancy can be identified and given proper treatment.  Many of them ignore these high-risk conditions and go on to develop type-II diabetes later in life, a condition known as gestational diabetes.