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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Following the announcement made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to incentivise ASHA workers for an effective management of COVID surveillance in rural areas, Odisha government on Wednesday directed the district Collectors to provide Rs 10,000 as financial assistance to them under ‘Swasthya Sahaya’.

In a letter issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department, ACS PK Mohapatra wrote that the money can be used for various activities towards COVID management and non-covid essential healthcare services in rural areas and urban slums.

“As per the announcement made by the Chief Minister, Odisha on May 17, 2021, it has been decided to provide one-time assistance of Rs 10,000 each to ASHA workers under Swasthya Sahaya (State Budget) to enable them to undertake various activities for effective management of Covid and facilitating non-Covid essential healthcare services at the community level both in rural areas and urban slums,” read the letter.

The ASHA workers can utilize the assistance amount on any/ all of the following heads:

- Purchase of bi-cycle (if not purchased earlier or damaged)

- Umbrella, torch, chappal, water bottle carry bag

- Mask, sanitizer, soaps, gloves, face shield, thermal scanner, helmet

- Mini battery operated mike

- Conveyance (POL/ repairing of cycle)

Requesting to release the incentive amount of Rs 10000 to each ASHA out of available funds under in ZSS-Misc A/c which will be recouped after receipt of funds under Swasthya Sahay, the department urged the Collectors to pay the amount based on self certification in the prescribed format duly signed by ASHA, mentioning that she has utilized the assistance amount towards any/all of the above said purpose.

While attending an all-party meeting on COVID management on May 17, the Chief Minister had announced a three-month door-to-door COVID surveillance to be undertaken by ASHA workers in rural areas and urban slums for which they will be incentivised.

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