'Work Remains Unchanged but the Risk has Increased'
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Q: What are your tasks now?
ANM: The work has not changed much, but now the risk has increased. People are still coming from outside and we are collecting their information and giving it to the authorities; the number of people we are monitoring has increased. We are home quarantining these people and monitoring them closely along with the ASHA workers.
Apart from this, we are also performing tasks we were performing before the crisis hit like – vaccination, Antenatal Care visits, record-keeping, maintaining the stock of medicine, informing and serving the beneficiaries.
Q: You mentioned the challenge of too few workers for the area that has to be covered. Has this been raised to your seniors? What have they said?
ANM: My area is bigger and is also connected to the city and hence there is a shortage of workers. Generally, there is one ANM for a population of 5,000-10,000 people; however, in my area, there are only two ANMs for 29,000 people, including me.
Everyone is aware of this situation, including the Medical Officer, Taluk (Block) Health Officer and District Health Officer, but no one takes any action. When we talk to them about this, they say that they will look at it later because there are not enough workers right now. They motivate us to do our jobs well and the conversation ends there.
Q: Is there anything that you want to share which has helped the team in its work or anything you are proud of?
ANM: All the field workers are doing their jobs very diligently despite increased work hours due to a huge population. ASHA workers are working even on Sundays and holidays, and I am proud of them!
The interview was conducted with an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife in Satara, Maharashtra in Hindi on 12 May 2020, and has been translated.