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Original Research

Assessment of Sahiyya (Accredited Social Health Activist) in Relation to Child Health in Ranchi, Jharkhand

Shilpa Karir, Mithilesh Kumar, Shalini Sunderam, Asha Kiran, Vivek Kashyap.


Background: Accredited social health activist (ASHA) is one of the key components of national rural health mission (NRHM) who can play an important role in identifying child morbidity at the earliest and help in improving their health status.

Objectives: (1) To describe the sociodemographic profile of Sahiyyas (ASHAs) working in the field practice area of Ormanjhi, Ranchi, (2) to assess the knowledge of Sahiyyas regarding her job responsibilities related to child health, and (3) to assess their functioning related to child health practices by interviewing the beneficiaries.

Materials and Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional study. All Sahiyyas (26) and women having children under 3 years of age (196) in the study area were interviewed through pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Assessment of child health services delivered by ASHAs was done by interviewing these Sahiyyas, which was cross-checked by interviewing the beneficiaries.

Results: Of 26 Sahiyyas, only 10 (38.5%) of them had the correct knowledge of oral rehydration solution (ORS) preparation and also had knowledge about homemade preparation of ORS and 16 (61.5%) of them could not tell the correct method of ORS preparation. Knowledge of Sahiyyas about pneumonia depicted that 16 (61.5%) could identify a child with pneumonia, but 10 (38.5%) had no idea about it. All the Sahiyyas (26) were aware about their job responsibilities regarding immunization such as listing of eligible newborn and children, counseling mothers for immunizing their child and mobilizing mothers to health center, and VHND camps.

Conclusion: The study has pointed out that there are lacunae in knowledge of Sahiyyas regarding childhood illness and their referral. Thus, frequency and quality of training for Sahiyyas must be strengthened.

Key words: Sahiyya; Child Health; Pneumonia

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