Narasamma is an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist). worker serving her in Doddabelavangala village for the last 10 years in Bangalore Rural district of the southern state of Karnataka. Narasamma is the one-stop call for the community in need of any medical assistance or advice.
Covid crisis didn't stop her from her carrying out her responsibility. With all necessary precautions, she is reaching out to the community in her area, Narasamma is tending to six pregnant women in her area. She says that she has to be extra careful with pregnant women, providing them additional guidance on keeping themselves safe from Covid. Pregnant women at present need maximum support. As an ASHA worker, she visits them in their homes, providing counselling and support. Often accompanying them to PHCs (Primary Health Centre). For the adolescent girls, she is like a friend popularly called 'ASHA aunty' - a guide for girls in their crucial years on sexual, reproductive health and menstrual hygiene.
"My association with Save the Children has prepared me how to respond to the Covid crisis at various levels. They supported me with the right information to respond to the Covid Crisis and help my community. Today, I am safe and doing all I can to keep my community safe from Covid-19 with right information at the right time – covid appropriate behaviour, preventive measures including the importance of vaccine," says Narasamma,
"I see people look at me with hope, for information and guidance, It is a huge responsibility. I am doing my best. In my tenure of ten years. I have registered thousands of pregnant women, provided awareness on health/nutrition and services door to door and report to my PHC. Every month, I reach out to 1035 people from 255 households. On average, I cover 10 pregnant women. I will continue to do serve my community, especially now, when they need me the most."
She has ensured that 86 community members are vaccinated against COVID as soon as vaccines were made available. She proudly declares that there are 'zero' cases of Covid in her area. She is closely working with Anganwadi workers and complimenting each other for the welfare of her community.
Narasamma is a part of the State's COVID 19 response team. It is her role to ensure that people in her community are safe and were getting all the necessary services. Some of the houses are located in interior villages and it was difficult to reach out to people during the lockdown. But Narasamma wasn't the one to give up. She got in touch with them on phone with information and advice to keep them safe. She spoke to the community about spotting symptoms, timely testing and medication and treatment. She conducted COVID survey in her village and even organised a Covid testing camp.
The pandemic has affected us all but it is the dedication and commitment of frontline workers that saves precious lives.