1. Can states continue to implement existing community health workers programmes?

The States would have flexibility in this regard. If States have ongoing community worker / volunteer programme, they can continue to engage with those already selected. However, ASHA must be primarily a woman resident of the village, preferably, in the age group of 25 to 45 years, 'Married / Widow / Divorced' with formal education up to Eighth Class. Adequate representation from disadvantaged population groups should be ensured to serve such groups better.

2. Is ASHA to be selected on a population-based norm?

States are free to select ASHA as per their own requirements. The norms are "1 ASHA for 1000 population". For areas like deserts and hilly terrain, these norms may be relaxed.

3. Is ASHA a paid employee?

ASHA is not a paid employee. She would not be entitled to any pay or honorarium, but would be eligible for compensation for services provided under various schemes and programmes of GoI and State Government. She could be compensated, for institutional delivery under Janani Suraksha Yojana, for completion of DOTS treatment under the Revised National TB Control Programme, promotion of household toilets under Total Sanitation Campaign, etc. The total compensated package would be finalised under the overall guidance of the District Health Mission.

4. How will ASHA be selected?

After going through a community mobilisation process, a panel of suitable persons would be drawn up and placed before Gram Sabha. The necessary formalities regarding the selection would be done by the Village Health & Sanitation Committee.

5. Will ASHA get a formal letter of appointment?

No, but the minutes of the approval process (in Gram Sabha or Village Health Committee meeting) will be recorded. The Village Health Committee would enter into an agreement with the ASHA (as in the case of the Village Education Committee and Sahayogini-in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan)

6. Is ASHA to be universal?

Currently ASHA is envisaged in the EAG States, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir

7. Who is ASHA accountable to?

ASHA would be accountable to the community through the Gram Panchayat. She would be guided by the AWW and the ANM. She would report to the Village Health & Sanitation Committee of the Gram Panchayat.

8. Will ASHA be getting a drug kit?

Yes, a drug kit will be provided to each ASHA. Contents of the kit will be based on the recommendations of the expert / technical advisory group set up by the Government of India. The kit will be provided to ASHA after adequate training.

9. What will be her primary roles and responsibilities?

ASHA will be a health activist in the community who will create awareness on health and its social determinants and mobilise the community towards local health planning and increased utilisation and accountability of the existing health services. She would be a promoter of good health practices. She will also provide a minimum package of curative care as appropriate and feasible for that level, and make timely referrals.