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India Health worker administers polio drops in Bihar



As the world’s second most populous country, India faces a number of health challenges: declining but still high rates of maternal and child mortality; widespread malnutrition among children and pregnant women; and the largest burden of tuberculosis (TB) globally. Additionally, India has the third largest number of people living with HIV,  Vulnerable populations lack access to basic health care and more than 39 million Indians fall into poverty every year due to medical costs. To address these challenges, USAID partners with the Government of India, the private sector and civil society to strengthen the impact, reach, affordability and quality of health services for poor and vulnerable households. These efforts build upon decades of USAID’s work in India supporting effective health care.  

USAID Priorities

Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths: Since 1990, USAID has helped save the lives of 2.1 million children in India.  Despite this progress, 1.2 million children under five still die every year —almost 780,000 of them on their first day of life.  More than 30 million women in India want to avoid pregnancy but do not have access to modern family planning methods.  Enabling couples and individuals to determine when and how often to have children is vital to safe motherhood, healthy families and prosperous communities.  USAID partners with the Government of India, the private sector and civil society to demonstrate how high-impact solutions can put India on a path to save the lives of mothers and children. 

For maternal and child health, USAID strengthens access to community and district-level health services, targeting lifesaving impact at the time of delivery. USAID strengthens the knowledge and skills of community-based health workers, who are often the first and only link to health care for the poor and marginalized.

For family planning, USAID works to strengthen family planning services and expand the choice of family planning methods. This includes increasing the awareness of reproductive health with youth, particularly adolescent girls. With the world’s second largest urban population, USAID is working to improve the reach and quality of health services for the urban poor and reduce their out-of-pocket medical costs.    

Championing a TB-free India: India has the largest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world—over a quarter of the global TB and multidrug resistant TB cases. It is the most common chronic disease in India and kills one person every two minutes.  More than two million people in India get TB annually and more than 220,000 die from the disease.  However, TB is curable and MDR-TB—a form of TB resistant to the first-line treatment—can be prevented. 

To better diagnose, cure, and prevent TB, USAID supports the Government of India with its national-level campaign, the Call to Action for a TB-Free India.  At the state-level, USAID engages Indian health care providers, corporate partners, media, celebrities, academia, and patients to end TB in India.  This effort reduces stigma against TB and people infected by TB, and ensures that those with symptoms are tested and enrolled in appropriate treatment.  In urban settings, USAID has expanded access to TB services and expanded the knowledge and practices of  health providers to improve the quality and adherence to international TB standards for diagnosis, treatment, and care.

Achieving an AIDS-free Generation: There are 2.1 million people living with HIV in India.  Since 1995, USAID has partnered with the Government of India and civil society to improve the prevention and care for populations most at risk of HIV.  The combined efforts of USAID, the government and partners have resulted in a reduction of new AIDS infections by 32 percent since 2007. 

Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR), USAID focuses on saving lives through active outreach to high-risk groups and by increasing HIV testing and access to care, counseling and treatment.  USAID partners with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations, and municipal corporations to raise awareness.  A number of USAID interventions have served as models for national and state programs and have contributed to the effective prevention, care and treatement for thousands of people living with HIV.  Additionally, thousands of children and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS are linked to education, nutrition, and social protection schemes supported by the Governement of India, with USAID support.    

Strengthening Global Health Security: The Global HeaIth Security Agenda — a  partnership of nearly 50 nations, international organizations and NGOs to help create a world free of infectious diseases — calls for cross-sectoral, global collaboration to ensure every country is prepared for public health emergencies. USAID collaborates with partners in India to stop disease outbreaks by closing gaps in prevention, detection and response. Through a highly focused and strategic response focused on the connections between animal and human health, USAID is strengthening India’s capacity to prevent and reduce outbreaks, detect threats early to save lives, and respond with a rapid, coordinated effort.  

Health results at a glance


  • 4,200 health facilities across India strengthened
  • 10,000 patients will be provided   breakthrough drug-resistant TB patients
  • four new vaccines introduced nationally
  • 13 percent reduction in neonatal mortality in USAID-supported health facilities using quality improvements
  • 25,000 pneumonia deaths and 14,000 diarrhea deaths prevented by USAID support
  • USAID’s efforts to transfer information globally led Ghana and Zambia to adopt tools from India to better reach their HIV/AIDS high-risk populations
  • 33 million women and children supported through a drug availability tracking systems


Last updated: August 30, 2016

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