Community Health Worker Helps Feed, Monitor Quarantined Laborers
Alimun Nisha is one of the most recognized and hardworking Accredited Social Health Activists (community health workers commonly as ASHAs) in Biswan block of Sitapur district, in Uttar Pradesh, India. She lives in the small village of Jahangirabad, near Biswan. Beginning her work as an ASHA in 2006, her dedication and hard work got her promoted as a Sangini (senior health functionary) in 2014. She is a strong advocate for SightLife’s Corneal Blindness Prevention Program and has been associated with the program since its inception in 2018.
Alimun is married and has three sons and two daughters. Her husband works as a tailor in the village. Despite the financial limitations, they ensured their kids have an environment to pursue their dreams. Her sons work in agriculture and her daughters are well educated. The younger daughter has finished junior high school and the elder one works in a medical college in Lucknow, having finished her nursing training.
The region has a plywood factory and cases of corneal abrasions are common.
“I have dealt with so many cases of corneal abrasions among which two were serious and were recovered by me. I recall one patient who was affected with wood powder and his eyes were red. I tested his eyes and ascertained he was affected with corneal abrasion. I prescribed him the appropriate medicines and checked after four days, he was completely cured,” said Alimun.
In March 2020, with the advent of COVID-19, ASHAs worked tirelessly to support the local health administration in identifying people showing symptoms and transferring them to quarantine facilities. Additionally, they were also tasked with generating awareness on the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community. With the Community Health Center closed, Alimun resorted to treating patients and other needy people at her home.
While fulfilling her professional responsibilities, Alimun’s benevolent nature came through when she decided to help 14 daily wage laborers in her village who were admitted in quarantine. The conditions of the quarantine facility in the village were pitiful and there was no one to provide food to the ones staying there.
The initial fears and uncertainty regarding the disease were immense and Alimun felt that the admitted workers may die of hunger if not COVID-19. Thankfully, she received support from her family for her decision. Her elder daughter, Sana pledged her salary of two months for this cause. The entire family went came together to cook all three meals continuously for two consecutive weeks for all those who were quarantined.
In addition to providing food, Alimun’s daughter Sana visited the facility daily and monitored the body temperature of the patients. She and Alimun educated them on hand washing, social distancing and other necessary precautions to prevent infections. Alimun noticed that there were many things missing in the facility like soap. She decided to purchase soap of different colors so that it becomes easy for the patients to differentiate and use.
Fortunately, none of the workers tested positive for COVID-19. At the time of their release Alimun Nisha went ahead and donated food to take care of their families.
SightLife cannot be prouder of women like Alimun Nisha who go beyond their call of duty and selflessly devote themselves in the service of people despite living in such financially challenging conditions.
“I decided to help the them not to earn any credit or fame but just to feed those empty stomachs who would have otherwise gone sick and died due to hunger,” said Alimun.