Are the Anganwadi Workers Healthy and Happy? A Cross Sectional Study Using
the General Health Questionnaire
(GHQ 12) at Mangalore, India
Dr. Animesh Jain
Associate Professor,Department of Community Medicine,
Kasturba Medical College (Manipal University),
Light House Hill Road, Mangalore â€“ 575 001 India
Phone:+91 98450 32334; +91 824 2422271 ext 5560
Mobile: +91 98450 32334
Background: Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) are the implementers of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). It is important to obtain the workerâ€™s viewpoints on their job-description, the problems they face and the levels of stress that they encounter, to address the quality of their services. The stressed AWWs are likely to be unhealthy, poorly motivated, less productive and less efficient in implementing the ICDS scheme. Thus, there is a need to evaluate the stress levels among the anganwadi workers and to understand the factors that influence the stress in this class of the population. This study was planned to study the stress among the anganwadi workers and the factors that are related to the stress.
Method: This was a cross sectional study which was done on 82 anganwadi workers of Mangalore by using a General Health questionnaire (GHQ â€“ 12).
Results: As their mean age increased, more was the stress which was experienced by them. The BMI, hypertension, self-reported sleep disturbance, eye strain and the perceived gastritis were related to stress and these were statistically significant.The workers were stressed to different levels due to an inadequate supply of the ICDS food resources (P=0.042). Overall, the anganwadi workers experienced stress due to their work.
Conclusion: There was stress and dissatisfaction among the AWWs who were studied. An improvement in their remuneration; a clear career path and an improved administration are also required for the better work efficiency of the anganwadi workers. There is a need to ensure both the physical and the psychological wellbeing of the workers.