Sans smartphones, uploading data an uphill task for health workers

Sans smartphones, uploading data an uphill task for health workers

ASHA workers conduct a door-to-door survey in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the Punjab Government is conducting a door-to- door survey and collecting data about health details of the people. Full medical details, including co-morbidities and other illnesses of the people, are being collected during this survey. The survey will go on till the containment of the disease.

Non-availability of smart phones and internet connection with health care workers, who are collecting data, is hindering the survey.

Aanganwadi workers and accrediated social health activists (ASHA), along with the auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), have been roped in by the state government to carry out house to house survey regarding Covid-19 and then upload data on the mobile app.

Although health workers are conducting survey, they are finding it difficult to upload data on the mobile app in the absence of Android-based smartphones and internet connectivity. Health workers are demanding mobile phones, SIM cards and net pack for uploading the collected data.

Ghar Ghar Nigrani app was launched on June 12 by the Punjab Government for undertaking house-to-house surveillance to contain the spread of Covid-19. Those carrying out the survey are paid Rs4 per head incentive for every person surveyed.

Subhash Rani, secretary, Aanganwadi Mulazim Union, said they were going extra mile to combat Covid-19 and had never stepped back from their duties.

“We have been asked to collect data, but not been provided any sanitisers or masks. We have been arranging safety gear on our own. It is not possible to buy new smartphones as these are not within our reach. We are not uploading the data as it is not possible for us to do so without upgraded phones,” said Subhash Rani.

Another Aanganwadi worker said, “It is not possible to have internet connectivity everywhere. Sometimes we go to the remote areas where there is no internet connectivity and it is not possible to upload data. I am preparing a data register. It is not possible to upload data of every house we visit.”

“There are many Aanganwadi workers in the age group of 50. They are unable to acquaint themselves with the technological issues. If the department wants us to upload data on the mobile app then smartphones with SIM cards and net pack should be provided,” said Subhash Rani.

Meanwhile, Balbir Kaur, district secretary-cum-cashier, ASHA Workers Union, said, “Workers have highlighted their helplessness in uploading data on the mobile app. Even those, who have smartphones, are unable to upload data without strong internet connection.”

“When we told the department about our helplessness the authorities said they do not have smartphones. We were asked to arrange smart phones. It is not possible to ask someone to lend his/her phone every day,” she added.

“We are already putting our lives at risk by conducting survey. Asking us to buy a smartphone will burn a hole in our pocket,” she said.

ANMs too are facing similar problem. They are also showing their helplessness in uploading data on the mobile app.

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