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India Health worker administers polio drops in Bihar


India accounts for 21% of the world’s global burden of disease.   India is home to the greatest number of maternal, newborn and child deaths in the world. According to recent estimates, India is losing more than 6% of its GDP annually due to premature deaths and preventable illnesses. Access to quality services is an overarching impediment, with technical and operational capacity limitations. Despite increases in the Indian Government’s health budget, India’s public investment in health remains low.


USAID/India partners with national- and state-level institutions and demonstrates high-impact best practices in the areas of family planning/reproductive health; maternal, newborn, and child health; and global disease threats including HIV/AIDS, polio, and tuberculosis. USAID/India seeks to strengthen India’s health workforce, enhance the quality of data for decision-making, strengthen management of India’s supply chain for health commodities, and reduce out-of-pocket payments for health care. USAID efforts embody a whole-of-market approach that mobilizes both private and public health systems essential to achieve universal access, reduce out-of-pocket expenditures and improve client satisfaction. In line with President Obama’s Global Health Initiative and GOI priorities, USAID envisions that its technical cooperation, coupled with government and private sector resources, will continue to improve the Indian health system to scale-up proven, high-impact interventions to achieve and sustain health gains.  

India is a proven laboratory for health innovations and provides a unique setting for USAID to extend innovations for global impact. USAID is building locally-led alliances and platforms that enable private and public sector partners to contribute significant shared resources.


Maternal and Child Health: USAID support focuses on high-impact interventions during a mother’s most critical 24-hour period around labor, delivery, and post-partum to reduce maternal mortality, saving both mothers and newborns. 

USAID is working to increase access to and availability of skilled providers for deliveries, comprehensive and integrated antenatal care, and immunizations for children. USAID is also addressing the key drivers of child mortality, such as pneumonia and diarrhea by strengthening the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses program and improving the use of oral rehydration salts and zinc. 

USAID’s maternal and child health program is a major avenue through which the U.S. Government is building on India’s commitments to the ‘Child Survival Call to Action: A Promise Renewed’ announced in June 2012, as well as addressing the Millennium Development Goals. 

HIV/AIDS: USAID is working with the Government of India to strengthen India’s decentralized response, supporting a partnership with the Indian National AIDS Control Organization that has produced significant results. USAID is focusing on prevention among key populations, identifying and responding to needs at the national, state, and district levels. In collaboration with other U.S. Government agencies, USAID is supporting the GOI in strengthening the capacities of State AIDS Control Societies, District AIDS Prevention and Control Units, and NGOs to improve the quality and accessibility of services. 

The President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is transitioning globally from its early emergency phase to a more sustainable approach with increasingly strategic investments. In line with this transition, USAID is providing a model technical assistance program in India that is cost-effective and where best practices can be identified and shared with other countries.

Tuberculosis (TB): USAID is supporting the GOI’s Revised National TB Control Program. Interventions include: improving and scaling comprehensive HIV/TB services; strengthening and accrediting intermediate reference laboratories for diagnosis of Multi Drug Resistant TB; improving airborne infection control; introducing new diagnostics; and increasing involvement of private providers. Efforts aim to improve TB case detection and treatment success rates and achieve national targets in priority geographic areas. 

Polio: USAID supported the surveillance, community and social mobilization, and partner coordination efforts to enable India to achieve the historic “Polio-Free” status in 2014. While India remains polio free, there is still a risk of importation from neighboring countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan where transmission of the polio virus continues. To mitigate this risk, USAID assists the Government of India to prepare emergency response and preparedness plans in the event the virus is imported and to conduct environmental surveillance to capture any last traces of hidden virus.

Family Planning (FP) and Reproductive Health: USAID’s FP activities are focused on supporting an individual’s right to make an informed and voluntary choice about their use of family planning, and to access any desired FP method, including short-term, long-acting, and permanent methods. These activities include: improving social behavior change communication and counseling skills for promoting informed choice from the variety of available contraceptive options; improving the quality of FP services; and promoting an expanded variety of contraceptive options. These services will make substantial contributions to reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity, while mitigating the adverse effects of population dynamics. 

Last updated: August 27, 2015

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