The Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s work has garnered political buy-in from key actors at multiple levels, resulting in projects like the Health of People and Environment Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LBV) project, led by Pathfinder International. HoPE-LBV has been successful in a number of ways, said Othero, including helping to shift prevailing gender roles by encouraging men to engage in family planning and reproductive health and by encouraging women to engage in sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management.
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Pathfinder International and UNFPA Renew Collaborative Commitment to Advance Family Planning, Gender Equality
Wudinesh Demisse raises her hand above her head, showing off the matchstick-sized birth-control implant embedded just beneath the skin of her upper arm.
Wudinesh, 28, is a farmer in rural West Arsi, in Ethiopia's central Oromia region. With three children already, Wudinesh says it is time to stop. "For me, three is enough," she says, through a translator. "If they are too many, they are too expensive."
Making patients walk 18 miles to a clinic with a UTI? Requiring their husband's permission to get birth control? Women deserve better health care than this.
The Female Condom 2 is far more successful than many in the West realise. It is available in 138 countries, sales have more than doubled since 2007, and the Female Health Company has been turning a profit for eight years.
The vast majority of sales are to four customers - the US aid agency (USAID), the UN and the ministries of health in Brazil and South Africa. Donors and public health officials are keen on anything that gives women the upper hand in what they call "condom negotiation" with men.
Family Planning: Coverage, Access to Services Poor, Says Report by Pathfinder International and UNFPA
Tauseef Ahmed, Pathfinder International’s country representative said, “Devolution was done in a hurry without capacity-building of provincial counterparts for their new responsibilities.” Family planning is the right of every woman and by depriving them, you’re putting their lives at stake, he added.
Tune in to hear "voices to inspire" speak from the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The Women Development Army are women that have implemented the health extension program of government very well so that others in their communities can see what they are benefitting out of this health extension program so that they can adapt or adopt what this Women Development Army are doing,” said Tariku Nigatu, who works with Pathfinder International in Ethiopia.
Pasiens Mapunda, a reproductive health expert at Pathfinder International, told IRIN that while "women are beginning to take up family planning and facility births are increasing" challenges such as "inadequate health facilities, long distance[s] from homes to the nearest available hospital and even low staffing still remain and needs to be dealt with."
Dr. Mengistu Asnake of Ethiopia is the second recipient of the 2013 EXCELL award for family planning achievement at the individual level. Dr. Asnake is Pathfinder International’s Country Representative in Ethiopia, and also serves as its Chief of Party for the Integrated Family Health Program. Dr. Asnake has played a key role in the development of national family planning strategies and guidelines.
Civil society and NGOs are also essential to these efforts. A USAID partnership with Pathfinder International and John Snow, Inc. is using innovative task-sharing programs to expand access to long-acting contraceptives in rural areas through community-based provision of implants.
At a rural health post in the Tigray region, we spoke to a young woman named Meheret, who has been a health extension worker for eight years, and had received training through the USAID-funded Integrated Family Health Program implemented by Pathfinder International. She has seen many changes during that time but remembers well the tough challenges at the outset.
This Wednesday, at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Pathfinder International discussed innovative approaches for scaling-up family planning services in places where socio-cultural barriers play a significant role in hindering a women’s ability to plan her family.
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, Contraception & Family Planning