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The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news

Saving pregnant mother: red flag approach

Pathfinder's Surjer Hashi Clinic (Smiling Sun) has unified Bangladesh's Teknaf community towards one goal: save pregnant mother. Among the many innovations introduced by clinic, one has been the demarcation of houses occupied by pregnant mothers with red flags - enabling neighbors to come together and help that particular family when required.

"As Mariam Bibi, near 30 with two children said in her own words, 'When I was pregnant the second time, my husband, a small trader was unable to take proper care for me. Moreover, our house is so far from upazila health complex, regular check-ups were not possible. In the mean time Surjer Hashi Clinic came forward to help me prevent health problems associated with pregnancy. They hung a red flag atop my house so that everybody could see and understand the need to help pregnant mothers like me.'"

Experts stress need to invest in youth on ‘World Population Day’

Demographic expert Dr Tauseef Ahmed, while speaking at a workshop organised by non-government organisations Subh-e-Nau and Pathfinders, said that if we fail to invest in the youth, not only they will be unskilled and uneducated but they will stay unemployed.

Pakistan: Where Mothers Are Also Children

Dr. Tauseef Ahmed, Pakistan country director of Pathfinder International, a non-profit organisation working to improve adolescent and youth access to sexual and reproductive health services in more than 30 countries, says that early pregnancy is not uncommon among teenage brides. In fact, having a baby is a way of proving one’s fertility, and the values of adolescent pregnancy are “protected by women and girls themselves,” he told IPS.

World Population Day: Call for concrete measures to curb growth

Pathfinder International head Dr Tauseef Ahmed said that most of the youth was now being dubbed “uneducated, unskilled, and devoid of aspirations”. He said growing population is a cross-cutting issue all over the world, he said.

Reproductive Rights Take Centre Stage at U.N. Special Session

As the UN continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year.

“I would hope the upcoming U.N. session will highlight the need to include sexual and reproductive health and rights upfront as a core component of the Sustainable Development Goals as the Open Working Group continues to develop its proposal,” said Purnima Mane, President & CEO of Pathfinder International.

New Video from CSIS Examines Impact of Family Planning in Ethiopia

See Ethiopians—rural women, an Orthodox Priest, the First Lady of Ethiopia, and more—share why they believe family planning is key to their country’s development.

“Women build the society. They build a nation. And investing in family planning is investing in the future.”-Dr. Tewodros Bekele, Director of Maternal, Child Health & Nutrition Programs, Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health

Building Local Currency: Three lessons from successful advocacy projects in the Global South

With funding from the Tides Foundation, Pathfinder's Money Well Spent project encourages districts to fund family planning and reproductive health services.
Type: Pathfinder in the News
Country: Tanzania
Focus Area: Advocacy

Delivering quality maternal health services in rural India, the role of the private sector

World Health Partners and Pathfinder International are partnering, using a social franchising approach, to leverage rural human resources in order to extend maternal health coverage.

The Tragedy of False Honor: Why Violence Against Women Must Stop

In just the last two months, a young, pregnant Pakistani woman is stoned to death by her own family because they did not approve of her marriage. In Nepal, a man set his pregnant wife on fire in a demand for a dowry. In India, two young girls were found hanging after being gang-raped.

"There is no honor in these vicious acts and so-called 'honor' killings. They are just dire reminders that violence against women is alive and well. They diminish women to nothing more than disposable property, devoid of rights. This must come to an end."

In Memoriam: Jeannie Rosoff, Champion for Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights

Pathfinder mourns the loss of Jeannie Rosoff, a champion for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, who served on Pathfinder International’s Board of Directors from 1994-1999. Rosoff was a true Pathfinder—blazing a trail for others to follow. She was one of the first in the field to see the critical role evidence can play in effecting policy change. The Guttmacher Institute honors Rosoff, their founder and former president, saying:

Jeannie’s contributions to the Institute and to the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights are nothing short of momentous. She was a driving force behind the creation of the Title X program...

Mothers Against Malnutrition

In Burundi, most of the population is affected by acute food insecurity, climate hazards and limited access to land. Pathfinder is one organization working to address the resulting malnutrition.

In recognition of the crucial role of mothers in reducing Burundi's shocking malnutrition rates, Pathfinder International has launched the Mamans Lumières programme in June 2011, to empower mothers to improve the health of their children.

See How Condoms Reach the Most Remote Villages in Africa

Condoms remain some of the most effective and affordable tools for combating unintended pregnancy. But how do condoms get to people who live in some of the hardest-to-reach corners of the world?

Tanzania-based photographer Sala Lewis traveled with global health organization Pathfinder International to document the Tuungane program in Tanzania, which brings condoms from the urban center of Kigoma to the small villages around the Mahale National Park. Project staff travel to the field at least once every two weeks, delivering what ever supplies are needed — contraception, anti-malaria drugs or even a new radio.

Leading Change Beyond the United Nations

Empowering women and girls doesn't require deep pockets or a podium. Pathfinder President Purnima Mane explores empowering women and girls beyond the United Nations.

Women, be good to one another. Ask the younger women in your life to tell you about their aspirations, and help those aspirations grow. When their voice is silenced, elevate it by speaking up yourself. Don't be afraid to tell the truth about women's lives, their power and their potential. "Feminist" isn't a four-letter word and we can't keep treating it like one. Say "yes" to opportunity and "get out of my way" to the social, economic and cultural barriers that try to hold you back.

Spacing: The Key to Sustainability

On Bussi Island, health and environment are intrinsically linked. Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project teaches communities about how best to keep their families and the environment they depend on healthy.

The clinic teaches women the importance of “spacing”  and offers a variety of options including cycle beads, condoms, pills, intrauterine devices and implants. Family planning methods, such as delaying and spacing out children, are among the most effective ways to better the lives of families and directly contribute to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant mortality and improving maternal health.

Legislators Seek Rightful Place at U.N. Talkfests

When the United Nations hosts a conference there is always a demand for full and active participation of often-marginalized groups, but some of the world’s parliamentarians are also battling to find their rightful place at international conferences.

Purnima Mane, president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder International, told IPS “it is incredibly important we involve parliamentarians in development work, empowering them to appreciate and raise issues of population and development with their constituents, and gaining their support to champion global development in national policies, programmes, and budgets.”

Entrepreneurs in Africa Find Opportunity in Scarcity

A visitor to Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project discusses the project's unique approach to tying education on family planning in with lessons on sustainability an economic dependence.

Annet Samaya leads a cluster of five model households on Bussi Island. HoPE has taught them sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry, sanitation and hygiene, and family planning. With income from her small farm, she has earned enough to send two of her children to boarding school on the mainland. She teaches other residents how to be similarly entrepreneurial.

Strength, Resilience and Selflessness: A Mother's Love is Universal

Haroon Mokhtarzada writes about his recent visit to Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project in the Lake Victoria Basin, Uganda.

With assistance and training from the Hope Project, Annet had learned sustainable agricultural practices and developed her land to such a point that it now yields more than enough to support her family. When I asked how she spends her surplus she replied that she sends her two oldest children to a good boarding school so that they may have more opportunities in the future.

Feminism for Goddesses: Does Kumari Worship Empower Girls?

While goddess worship is meaningful in areas of the predominantly Hindu country of India, is it a practice that empowers girls? The Guardian explores.

Pathfinder International recognises the importance of engaging with the wider community, including opening dialogues with religious leaders from different faiths as well as Hinduism. Encouraging them to advocate projects in their communities, such as Prachar which focuses on girls' reproductive health and empowerment in Haryana, they have found a shift in negative perceptions and reductions in early marriages and pregnancies.

From Victoria to Chilwa: Integrated Development in Two African Lake Basins

In the Lake Victoria Basin, growing populations, shrinking resource bases, and persistent human health concerns demonstrate the need for integrated development approaches that combine population, health, and environmental (PHE) interventions.

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.

The Garb of Leadership Through the Eyes of Dr. Purnima Mane

To get a holistic insight about leadership, we need to delve into experiences of leaders, how they react to emergent problems, and seek their advice on experiences that young aspiring leaders need to pursue to strengthen and prepare themselves.

I would also say that most leaders should have some charisma. The other trait a leader needs to have is to be sensitive especially in terms of whom do you expect to follow and who are these followers that you are looking for. Most leaders’ people skills are very well developed like their communication skills. I think this is important because being able to connect to people is critical for a leader.

Type: Pathfinder in the News
Focus Area: Advocacy
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