Although geographically only one-third the size of the United States, India is home to more than one billion people. India lies at an intersection of religions and enjoys a diversity of culture. The large Hindu majority (81%) coexists with followers of Islam (12%), Christianity, Buddhism, Sikh, and other religions.
Led by the non-violent independence movement of Mohandas Gandhi, the Republic of India gained its independence from Britain on August 15, 1947. Today, India is the world's largest democracy. Although its economy is rapidly developing and it is playing a greater role in the international community, India continues to face many obstacles. While the average yearly income is $2,900, 25% of all Indians live below the poverty line. The infant mortality rate is high and life expectancy hovers around 64 years.
Hemophilia in India
There are an estimated 100,000 people living with hemophilia in India. However, only 8,000 of those affected have been identified and registered. Local hemophilia centers care for those who have been identified. Sadly, factor concentrates, the mainstay of treatment, are expensive and remain beyond the reach of most Indians who live with hemophilia.
Healthcare in India largely remains a private responsibility. 70% of its cost is paid for through private funding. The majority of hemophilia patients in India are poor and depend on receiving either free factor or substituting it with treatment using plasma or cryoprecipitate.
The Hemophilia Federation of India (HFI) was formed in 1983 to serve the needs of those affected by hemophilia. Today, HFI's 65 chapters work diligently to aid those with hemophilia across the country.