Why Kerala’s PHCs can boast of being the best in the country

PHC Kerala
Despite being quite unacknowledged, low level workers form the strong base in Kerala’s robust primary health care (PHC) network, an internationally acclaimed health care system | Image - Eunice Dhivya

“The population is 1004; there are four pregnant women, 74 senior citizens, nine living alone; 109 people have blood pressure and 70 are diabetics.”

These are the details of people with health issues in the 12th ward of Varavoor Panchayat in Kerala’s Thrissur, and the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) there, Bindu M Babu, has all these details on her fingertips.

She needs to only go through her diary once to get more details such as the number of APL/BPL families, Dalits, migrants, infants, adolescent children, cancer patients and even the number of wells and rain water harvesting ponds, till the day before. Overall, she maintains data of 215 households in her ward. (Wards with a bigger population have more than one ASHAs).

Bindu is relieved that the last COVID-positive person in her ward has tested negative a day before and the number of people under quarantine has come down to zero.

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