India recorded the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 8 million, creating an unprecedented need for strengthening health systems and initiating behaviour change.
COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges for health systems around the world by increasing demand for patient care. From the very beginning USAID has spearheaded the fight against COVID-19, helping countries prepare for and respond to the pandemic. In India, USAID and its partners are implementing a range of life-saving healthcare programs and supporting delivery of COVID-19 services. The initiatives have helped strengthen clinical capabilities by training healthcare workers, provision of medical equipment, supporting case surveillance, contact tracing and establishment of response systems - all the while ensuring that essential health services continue to be available. At the community level, USAID partners are collaborating with experts, civil society organizations and the private sector to develop a calibrated response and support the most vulnerable. Leveraging both community partnerships and technology, partners have been supporting governments to ensure that critical information reaches the last mile.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of families and communities and posed extraordinary challenges for economies as well as health systems across the world. With over 44 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, between January and October 2020, this global health emergency has led to over a million deaths. India has recorded over 8 million confirmed cases in the same period, with thousands of people falling prey to the disease. The pandemic has meant both physical health challenges as well as extreme stress and psychological challenges for many. In response, the Government of India stepped up the strengthening of health systems, building case management capabilities and upgrading lab systems to fight the pandemic. A series of prevention measures, increased disease surveillance, community outreach, public education and advocacy programs for behaviour change have also been launched to prevent the spread.