Top Ten Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in the Developing World

Every day in the world's poorest countries, women cross their fingers. They cross their fingers that when they reach the clinic—5 miles away—it will be open. They cross their fingers, hoping that the clinic will be staffed by a health care provider who can answer their questions about family planning truthfully and without bias.

Will their finger-crossing work? Will the clinic have their preferred method of contraception? Will their partners be supportive? Will they be allowed to space their next pregnancy so that they can provide their other children with good food and keep them in school—or perhaps go back to school themselves?

Too often, women are forced to rely on luck. Facing extreme barriers to sexual and reproductive health care, they can only wish for health. They shouldn't have to.

At Pathfinder, we assess obstacles and figure out solutions through our myriad projects every day. Here are the top ten barriers we see most frequently—and a snapshot of what we're doing to break them down.

1. Gender inequality


Women often can't access reproductive health care because of systemic gender inequality. For instance, a woman in desperate need of emergency obstetric care, may have to have her husband's permission to go to a clinic.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder programs focus on engaging communities to collaboratively reflect and discuss these inequalities—what they mean for women's health—and work on changes within communities. Small changes can have resounding positive effects.

2. Stock outs


For many reasons, including supply chain issues, poor planning, or lack of funding, clinics often run out of contraceptives.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder works with providers, clinic managers, and government officials to anticipate needs, improve supply chains, and ensure availability of contraceptives.

3. Lack of funding


Global reproductive health is significantly underfunded. More than 200 million women want, but lack access to contraceptives. As government budgets become tighter, international funding is even more at risk.

What we're doing to break it:
Through education initiatives and outreach to key decision-makers, Pathfinder advocates and champions the importance of reproductive health funding.

4. Lack of skilled service providers


In many areas, the number of service providers like doctors, nurses, and midwives is limited, and those that exist are often undertrained.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder focuses on training providers so that their skills and knowledge are improved. In addition, Pathfinder partners with Health Ministries and local organizations to improve supportive supervision and address provider retention.

5. Distance to health service point


In rural communities, health centers, clinics, and hospitals can be far away or too difficult to reach.

What we're doing to break it:
By working with community-based health workers, peer educators, and other local outreach channels, Pathfinder brings services to the community. When a community-based health worker is trained in providing comprehensive counseling and contraceptives, it saves the client from traveling long distances and using limited financial resources to access the care they need.

6. Misinformation in communities


Whether it's about side effects of contraceptives (like they accumulate in your stomach) or the transmission of HIV, myths and misinformation about reproductive health can take many forms.

What we're doing to break it:
Through community outreach, peer education, and informative media (ie, radio broadcasts) Pathfinder strives to bring accurate information about sexual and reproductive health into communities and help communities take ownership of this knowledge.

7. Opportunity costs


For some women, the time needed to go to a clinic, or travel to a hospital means losing out on other valuable time working in the field, traveling to market, or preparing food for their children.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder addresses opportunity costs by bringing services to her doorstep in some cases or at least bringing it to more accessible venues (a closer health post for instance). This ensures women can receive the services they need without giving up other valued time investments.

8. Service provider bias


Just because a nurse is trained in providing a service, does not mean he/she provides it without bias. This can take the form of refusing to discuss contraceptive use with adolescents, for instance, or turning away a woman who is seeking abortion counseling.

What we're doing to break it:
Partnering with local trainers, Pathfinder leads training that helps providers evaluate their own values and understand the needs of those they are serving. The goal in all of these is to reduce stigma and discrimination and ensure that all clients are treated with dignity and receive comprehensive services that address their needs.

9. Legislative and legal barriers


Restrictive laws and policies can have a real—and sometimes devastating—impact on the people Pathfinder serves. This is particularly challenging in relation to safe abortion services.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder strongly supports the rights of all people to control their reproductive lives. Pathfinder works to support local efforts to improve policies overseas, and educates decision-makers in shaping legislation that will protect the reproductive rights of all people both in the US and abroad.

10. Cultural norms and traditions


In some cultures women can only seek services from another women; yet, female providers are limited. In others, religious leaders resist the idea of sexual and reproductive health services, such as contraception.

What we're doing to break it:
Pathfinder works within the cultural context of a country � striving not to change culture, but rather to collaborate with cultural and religious leaders to ensure that women, men, and young people have the ability to live healthy lives. Pathfinder's approach to working with religious leaders to promote healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy is one example of this collaboration.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

impact economy tandem reason gathering check credit score free secure recent data
Name October 31, 2014
Because i do an online job thats why i need fast Internet connection, i search how to bost internet speed then ireach at a right place. high pr backlinks
jams123 October 31, 2014
tv player I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with Fat Blast Factor the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! food and travel fun
JOHN October 31, 2014
Bisnis online shop untuk sekarang ini sangat berkembang mulai dari bisnis Baju Bola maupun bisnis lainnya, yang paling unik untuk sekarang ini adalah bisnis Kaos Bola Karikatur . social media yang sedang booming saat ini adalah twitter, Cara Membuat Akun Twitter baru juga tergolong mudah dan bisa daftar akun twitter baru hanya dalam waktu 5 menit saja. iPhone adalah smartphone yang sangat digemari, dan banyak Aplikasi - aplikasi iPhone yang bisa anda download secara gratis. Untuk lebih jelasnya, anda bisa melihatnya DI SINI Mempunyai wajah cantik memang idaman setiap wanita, untuk itu segeralah merawat wajah anda dengan Cara Menjadi Cantik Alami bukan dengan kosmetik yang dapat merusak wajah anda, BACA SELENGKAPNYA Android selalu melakukan revolusi terhadap OSnya dan membuat Aplikasi Android Terbaik untuk penggunanya. Mau tau apa saja aplikasi android yang wajib anda download ? READ MORE
ipo October 30, 2014
followfy I love the humor your post has offered. I enjoyed this site a lot. Keep posting article like this. It is fun. Nice photography too! followfy
JOHN October 30, 2014
I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else! running mexico
Ahsan October 30, 2014
What a really awesome post this is. Truly, one of the best posts I've ever witnessed to see in my whole life. Wow, just keep it up. turbotax canada 2014
jams123 October 30, 2014
Facing extreme barriers to sexual and reproductive health care, they can only wish for health. They shouldn't have to. going here
Name October 30, 2014
I researed valuable information on this point as I am working on a class project. Thank you posting useful information and its now becoming easier to accomplish this task. TelePHOnE NuMBer
Ahsan October 29, 2014
Very good post .Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it Link
Name October 29, 2014
guaranteed approval credit cards I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. pre paid master card Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. credit cards for bad credit
JOHN October 28, 2014
Pathfinder works with providers, clinic managers, and government officials to anticipate needs, improve supply chains, and ensure availability of contraceptive Hugeframe.com
Name October 27, 2014
Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. mixed martial arts
Ahsan October 27, 2014
I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! appliances for home
jams123 October 27, 2014
D3 Pimp I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! Natalie [use the at symbol] Bulimia tips
JOHN October 27, 2014
I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news Thank you very much for such an interesting post, and I meet them more often then I visited this site. url
Name October 26, 2014
They cross their fingers, hoping that the clinic will be staffed by a health care provider who can answer their questions about family planning truthfully and without bias. Buy real youtube views
Name October 26, 2014
free job posting Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. Kiln dried firewood logs for sale
JOHN October 26, 2014
We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work. Portrait photographer London
Ahsan October 25, 2014
expert interview coach I love the humor your post has offered. I enjoyed this site a lot. Annapolis Car Detailing Keep posting article like this. It is fun. Nice photography too! key west dolphin tours or
JOHN October 25, 2014
Scroll to top