GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged the ASHA and employees of National Health Mission to take forward the message of government health schemes more forcefully to the grassroots for heralding a positive change in the lives of the people of the State.
The Chief Minister made this call while taking part at the second ASHA and NHM convention, 2019 organized by the Department of Health, Government of Assam at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati recently. At present 31,955 ASHA workers and 20,921employees are working in various categories under NHM in Assam.
Lauding the committed services being rendered by the ASHA and NHM employees, the Chief Minister said that the State Government has taken up health as a priority sector to keep people of the State healthy to chart a new course of development. “During last two years and eight months, our government has launched initiatives which have never been taken in the last sixty years of India’s independence. Our aim is to bring revolutionary change in this sector to make health care facilities more affordable and accessible,” Sarbananda Sonowal said.
Stating that in a bid to address the shortage of medical professionals, Government has put special focus on increasing number of medical colleges and nursing institutions, Sonowal said that the State Government has come up with a novel initiative of Cancer Care Grid under which setting up of 19 hospitals with support from Tata Trusts is going on in Assam . He also said that under Chief Minister Free Diagnostic Scheme, around 20 lakh patients have been benefitted in the State.
Sarbananda Sonowal said that against the neglect and deprivation of the tea garden community by the previous Congress Government, the present Government takes measures to provide them better health and living conditions. He said that already 80 mobile medical units have been pressed into service in the tea gardens apart from providing Rs. 12,000 wage compensation to pregnant women of tea gardens and strengthening infrastructure of TE Hospitals through PPP mode.
Further urging the ASHA workers to work as a bridge between the government and people, the Chief Minister called upon them to generate more awareness among people about healthy life style and promoting cleanliness in society.
The Chief Minister also came down heavily on the misinformation campaign launched by certain vested interest groups that 1.9 crore Bangladeshi immigrants would get settlement in Assam in the days to come, he reassured that land, culture, language of the indigenous people are fully safe in the hands of the present Government. Stating this as a motivated campaign to derail the pace of development of the State, he urged people to stand united to thwart the evil design of divisive forces.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, while speaking on the occasion, said that many interventions have been brought in systematically to address the issues faced by ASHA and NHM employees during the tenure of present Government. He said that as a result of committed efforts of the Government, MMR in the State has come down to 237 from 480 since the time of launch of NHM in 2006. Similarly, there has been a reduction of IMR from 68 to 44 per 1000 births, under 5 mortality from 78 to 52, he added. He said that while the number of medical colleges in the state will soon touch to 14 since 6 from the time previous government, number of beneficiaries availing benefits of Government schemes have also gone up manifold.
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