Women Health Workers wading through rain and heat to reach every rural child

In some of the remotest parts of India every early morning thousands of women frontline workers like ASHA, ANM, MPW, AWW, teachers and Community Health Officers get up to travel long distances over rough terrain, muddy roads, rivers, paddy fields, mountains, and jungles to provide primary health care to the poorest of the poor, vulnerable people and hard to reach places.

For those communities, living far away from health facilities, access to health services means village level health workers, who are the only hopes and friends who are taking care of their basic health care needs. Moreover, it can be pregnant women, malaria patients, children needing medical attention and growth measurements, all depend on such health workers when they cannot make it to a hospital or clinic.

The government of Tripura has launched a programme called “Mukhya Mantri Sustho Soishob Sustho Koishore Abhiyaan” (MSSSKA) starting from September 1 to 15 across the state. The aim of the drive is to cover 12.80 lakh children and adolescents by implementing the NDD programme with Vitamin-A supplementation, ORS, Iron Folic Acid (IFA) Supplementation, Zinc Tablet, and Integrated Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF) programme.

The state health department has taken a strategy to deliver special health care service by implementing MSSSKA for children of 1 to 19 years old through frontline health workers. The scheme was launched by the Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb on August 31, 2021.

To make the scheme successful at the ground level, a group of dedicated women health workers under Baikhora Primary Health Centre has come forward to deliver the health and nutrition interventions in Bokafa RD Block area in South Tripura. Sushmita Majumdar, a Community Health Officer (CHO) posted at Purbajoy Reang Para Health & Wellness Sub-Centre led a team of women health workers including ASHA, MPW, AWW along with team supervisor for ensuring that every child and adolescent in Bokafa RD Block area receive tablets like Vitamin-A, Albendazole (De-worming tablets) ORS and Iron Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation etc. no matter what.

Jyotish Reang, a teacher by profession, assigned as a supervisor of the group said, “It takes consistent effort, time and a lot of conviction to mobilize the parents and the villagers to create awareness about the MSSSKA scheme.”

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