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Unaudited totals since Jan. 1, 2010
in medical aid
doses of medicine
pounds of medicine and supplies
healthcare providers supported

More than 1.4 billion people live in India, spread across 28 states and eight union territories. It is the largest country by population and the seventh largest by area. India is ethnolinguistically and religiously diverse and has 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts recognized in the constitution.

Since the creation of the Indian state in 1947, economic growth and healthcare improvements have driven a decline in poverty and maternal mortality and an increase in life expectancy. From 1951 to today, the general life expectancy at birth rose from 36.7 to over 70 years. Since the mid-2000s, India has also seen a more than 70 percent decline in maternal mortality. Between 1960 and 2021, India also saw a more than 70 percent decline in infant mortality rates from 162 per 1,000 live births to 26, according to the World Bank.

India has also seen a drastic expansion of healthcare infrastructure and the rapid growth of a thriving pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Despite these gains, significant healthcare challenges remain across the country. These challenges are most acute among poor and remote rural communities that lack access to appropriate healthcare diagnostic, treatment, and care services. The healthcare gains in India have not spread equally, and lower socioeconomic and remote rural communities are still carrying a high communicable and non-communicable disease burden.

This is why Direct Relief is supporting a network of charitable partner hospitals and health organizations with medicines and medical supplies, with specialty chronic medications such as insulin for children living with Type 1 diabetes and enzyme replacement therapies for children with rare diseases, as well as funding to support health infrastructure such as infectious disease diagnostic equipment, medical cold chain refrigeration, and medical oxygen generation.

COVID-19 in India
Direct Relief’s Response

India’s second-wave Covid-19 crisis peaked in the first week of May 2021. At that time, the official daily Covid-19 case infection rate was above 400,000, and the daily mortality rate was above 4,000.

On the ground, particularly within urban communities in northern India, this meant hospitals had run out of bed spaces, ICUs were full and unable to admit severely ill patients and critically needed oxygen supplies were either unavailable or in intermittent supply across many facilities.

Covid-19 medications and personal protective equipment, or PPE, to protect frontline health workers were in short supply, and families were forced to go door-to-door to hospitals, trying to find a bed for sick loved ones.

As India recovered from the Covid crisis, health challenges remained around health system strengthening, improving infectious disease diagnostic and treatment capacity and access, vaccinations, delivering health services to remote communities, targeting support for vulnerable communities, and strengthening data-driven decision-making capacity.


Funding for health organizations responding locally – As in all emergencies, the pre-existing gaps get more prominent as resources are redirected to the crisis. That’s why Direct Relief’s focus during the Covid response was on supporting its partner network of health facilities that care for people who are among the least fortunate and most vulnerable to the crisis.

In addition to disbursing more than $7 million in cash grants as part of its response to the crisis, Direct Relief also acted as a fiscal agent for $2.5 million in donations made by ACT Grants, ensuring that donor intent was honored for 100 percent of donations made for the Covid response. Direct Relief identified, vetted, and supported the following locally-run organizations with cash grants to enable them to respond to and recover from the Covid crisis, maintain routine healthcare services to vulnerable populations, and bolster and strengthen their capacity into the future.

Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital PuneFunding to construct a new oxygen generation facility to provide ongoing supplies of medical grade oxygen to the hospital, maintain Covid operations during the crisis, and establish a Centre of Excellence in Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine and a Center of Excellence in Respiratory Diseases to provide state-of-the-art diagnostic and laboratory testing to communities and to ensure efficient and appropriate treatment. It will also be a center for training and education and give DMH the capacity to track Covid variants and other infectious disease strains..$2,850,000
Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), IndiaTo support village-level Covid clinics, Covid health education, mask distribution, support and education for women at the village level, and building a team of health trainers across India to improve access to Covid and general health awareness and information. Also, to target NCD care and livelihood rehabilitation in response to Covid and Covid isolation impacts. Focusing mainly on low-income, independently-employed female workers.$1,820,000
Swasth, Community Science Alliance (CSA), BangaloreFunding to scale up the CSA’s successful model for advancing scientific protocols for community health workers and general practitioners employed in the private and public sector in semi-urban and rural India.$750,000
All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), AhmedabadFunding to conduct research, mapping, and the creation of digital resources around the impact and mitigation of extreme weather events on vulnerable communities.$550,000
Shrimad Rajchandra Love & Care (SRLC) GujaratFunding to procure ventilators, a CT-Scan machine and other medical equipment to enable the hospital’s Covid response and facility-strengthening. Also includes funding medical outreach missions into remote rural areas to run Covid testing, vaccinations, primary healthcare, and education.$540,000
Calcutta Rescue, CalcuttaFunding to establish and run the ‘Tangra’ health clinic to provide health care services to the 7,000 people living in the Tangra area of Calcutta.$300,000
Amrita Institute of
Medical Sciences Kerala
Emergency Covid-19 funding to maintain operations during the crisis and funding to build a state-of-the-art mobile medical bus to enable medical outreach to remote rural populations and to respond to disasters anywhere in India. This mobile medical unit contains diagnostic, testing, and treatment facilities and is linked via satellite telecommunications to Amrita’s main hospital to enable telemedicine services.$260,000