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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 2865-2878

Comparison of knowledge and skills of Home-Based Newborn Care (HBNC) among Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and health workers (SAKHI) of Ambuja Cement Foundation

1 Central Research Services, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India
3 Program Monitoring and Research, Ambuja Cement Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Ajay Gajanan Phatak
Academic Centre, Shree Krishna Hospital Campus, Gokal Nagar, Karamsad - 388 325, Anand, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1761_20

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Context: Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) started replicating the famous “Gadchiroli” model to reduce neonatal mortality in Chandrapur in 2005. ACF conducted the Home-Based Newborn Care (HBNC) model through trained female health workers, viz., “SAKHIs.” In 2008, Government of India introduced community health worker, viz., Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA). ACF withdrew its services steadily and few SAKHIs were hired as ASHAs. Aims: We assessed and compared the knowledge level and skills of trained ASHA workers with SAKHIs in providing HBNC. Methods and Material: A cross-sectional study was conducted in three blocks of Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, India. A structured questionnaire consisting of 34 questions was used for knowledge assessment and checklists assessed hand washing, weight recording, temperature recording, kangaroo mother care (KMC) position, suction and bag and mask ventilation (BMV) skills on manikins. Results: 135 healthcare workers participated. The mean (SD) score of current SAKHIs (23.89 (1.9) was significantly higher than former SAKHIs (currently ASHAs) (17.97 (2.92), former SAKHIs (currently not engaged in HBNC) (16.73 (2.95) and ASHAs not worked as SAKHIs in the past (16.19 (3.19) [all P < 0.001]. Similar trend was seen in all skill sets. The skills of ASHAs not worked as SAKHIs previously were abysmal, with no ASHA being able to perform BMV and KMC skills, and only 4 (7.5%) who could perform suctioning. A typical trend was observed with current SAKHIs faring best followed by former SAKHIS (currently ASHAs), former SAKHIs (currently not in HBNC), and ASHAs not worked as SAKHIs faring worst. Conclusion: The skills and knowledge of ASHA workers are far deficient compared to SAKHIs despite similar training components, potentially hampering neonatal mortality reduction. Quality of training and supportive supervision mechanism of ASHAs should be explored.

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