Topic Overview

With a population of 1.25 billion, India is the second most populous country in the world. The economy has grown exponentially since 1991, becoming the 10th largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power, making India a newly industrialized state. While the country continues to experience gains from economic growth, it still faces a number of public health challenges, including a burden of both infectious and chronic diseases, a sizeable rural population, and a large but unorganized private health sector. According to WHO estimates, approximately 71% of all health spending in India in 2010 was private, of which about 86% was out of pocket, which risks pushing India’s 350 million people living below the poverty line even further into poverty. In the midst of these trends, healthcare organizations are testing new methods to leverage public and private resources to meet the health needs of the poor.

CHMI currently profiles over 275 programs operating in India—almost 20% of the CHMI database. This page describes CHMI-documented programs that operate in India, highlighting the range of innovative approaches utilized to improve health outcomes. From creating networks of private health providers to utilizing information technology to bring healthcare to the most rural and underserved areas, India has become a vibrant testing ground for health market innovations that can meet the needs of its large and diverse population.

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Program Spotlight

Jayaashree Industries

Millions of women around the world cannot afford sanitary napkins, mainly because they’re manufactured using expensive machinery and thus priced at a premium. Such women resort to an older and cheaper alternative – a piece of cloth or rag. This is an unhygienic alternative and can cause infections, leading to a greater risk of complications in childbirth, and even cancer. Jayashree Industries produces affordable sanitary napkins using low-cost machinery with local actors. Women in India can afford to purchase the sterilized sanitary napkins without compromising on quality. The business model of Jayashree Industries assures sustainability and targets local social entrepreneurs.

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