Contraception & Family Planning

In her home, a young Indian woman learns about various contraceptive methods from an Accredited Social Health Activist or “ASHA.”

Each home visit is an opportunity to respond to multiple health needs; in Ethiopia, a health extension worker counsels her clients in 16 areas, including family planning, maternal and child health, HIV prevention, sanitation, and nutrition.

Pathfinder works with public health teams to identify and address gaps in services—including stock outs of contraceptives—for women who rely on them.

Pathfinder advocates consistently and effectively with government leaders, medical health professionals, and influential local stakeholders to develop policies and funding that support contraceptive programs. (KENYA)

In 2011, through Pathfinder-supported programs, women and men made more than 5 million visits to health facilities for contraceptive services.

For more than 55 years, improving access to contraception and family planning has been core to Pathfinder's mission. Pathfinder has worked in more than 100 countries and implemented large scale service delivery programs focused on contraception across sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Our goal is to advance opportunities for women, men, and adolescents to make choices about their sexual and reproductive health through access to contraceptive services and information.

Contraceptive services and knowledge offers individuals the ability to make key decisions about their sexual and reproductive health so they can take control of their lives. Empowered to make decisions about if, when, and how often to have children, women and girls can stay in school, develop income-earning skills, determine the size and timing of their families, and play an active role in ensuring their family's welfare. For men, contraceptive services and information enable supportive partnerships and ensure couples can make decisions together about their health and futures. Support for both women and men to access contraception and family planning is key to fostering gender equity and benefitting the health and strength of communities everywhere.

By addressing a vast unmet need-more than 222 million women currently want, but lack access to family planning-Pathfinder helps individuals prevent unintended pregnancy, space births for optimal health and well-being, and reduce the risk of illness and infection.

Key approaches for all of our contraceptive and family planning work include:

  • Expanding access to quality information and services with a focus on bringing services closer to the client and at the same time improving the quality of care at facilities.
  • Improving the integration of services so that each visit is an opportunity to respond to multiple health and contraceptive needs.
  • Addressing cultural, social, economic, and logistical obstacles to contraceptive availability by focusing on the intersection of community and health systems.
  • Advocating at international, national, regional, and local levels to ensure availability and funding for contraception and family planning.

Currently, Pathfinder has a range of contraception and family planning projects around the world.

Related Projects

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.

Accountability in the Reproductive Health Sector

Using Community Scorecards, this project empowered citizens in Tanzania to improve the quality of their own reproductive health services.

Family Planning in Myanmar

Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Myanmar

Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate for increasing attention and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs in Myanmar.


Related Publications

July 2014

HoPe LVB Beach Management

A new approach to conservation in the basin is the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin project. It seeks to reduce threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem degradation while simultaneously increasing access to family planning and reproductive health services.

July 2014

HoPE LVB Model Households

Model households are a key aspect of the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin, an integrated Population, Health, and Environment project with sites in Kenya and Uganda.

July 2014

HoPE LVB Advocacy

Since the launch of the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin project, staff and partners have engaged key district, national, and regional health and environment officials in Kenya and Uganda.

July 2014

HoPE LVB Energy Efficient Stoves

Bussi Island is located in the Wakiso district, which suffers a deforestation rate of 86.7 percent. To promote hassle-free cooking and a healthy environment for women in their homes, the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin project introduced two types of energy-efficient smokeless stoves.


Related News

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.

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.

Conference shines spotlight on family planning in Myanmar

Family Planning Conference
Pathfinder International joins Myanmar’s Ministry of Health in hosting the three-day Family Planning Best Practices Conference beginning Monday, June 30, 2014.

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

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