State to Train Helpers to Make up Female Health Worker Deficit
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19 May 2010
WITH an aim to make up the deficit of Female Health Workers (FHW) that may have impacted mother and child health programmes in the rural areas, the state Health Department has come up with a new concept of Helpers to Female Health Workers (HFHW). The Health Department has started training medical officers, who would then give orientation lectures to 3,475 HFHW at every village block.
Even though the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has asked the state government to increase the number of FHWs per village, the latter does not have enough trained human resources to make up for the deficit.
HFHWs will assist the health workers in every village and in every national programme with a special emphasis on mother and child healthcare, said S C Vashistha, Joint Director, Gujarat State Health and Family Welfare.
According to NRHM, every village block should have at least two FHWs, whereas Gujarat has only one FHW in every village block.
When asked about the deficit, Vashistha said: “It is not possible to rope in FHWs in one shot. It takes time.
FHWs require one–and–a half–year of training. We are training HFHWs this year, who would be equally divided in every district.”
”The concept came up in 2009, but it is being implemented this year. Trainers, who will train HFHWs are currently being trained by the state Health Department.
Each trainer will be paid Rs 1,500 as stipend,” said Dr S J Gandhi, who is in charge of the training.
At present, there are nearly 7,000 FHWs in the state, and there is a need of another 1,000.
But it will take some time to train them as per NRHM rules, said state Health Department officials.
Additional Director Family Welfare, Dr B K Patel, refused to comment on the issue.