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 2014, women and men made 5.6 million visits for contraceptive services at health facilities supported by Pathfinder.

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 225 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 Health Care 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

May 2015

Making the difference: An intensive model for strengthening civil society capacity in Mozambique

This technical brief explores Pathfinder’s intensive approach to strengthening the organizational capacity of five youth-serving civil society organizations in Mozambique.

May 2015

Resposta Multissectorial à Violência Baseada No Género em Moçambique (multiple languages)

This Portuguese translation of a Pathfinder technical brief explores implementation of a multisectoral approach to GBV prevention and response across two projects in Mozambique, and outlines key lessons learned and next steps.

February 2015

Advancing Contraceptive Security in Angola

This publication discusses the USAID-funded Healthy Families project efforts to strengthen the contraceptive supply chain in Angola.

February 2015

Extending Service Delivery-Family Planning Initiative: Endline Survey Results

This project in Mozambique worked with health facilities, pre-service institutes, communities and partners to integrate family planning into primary care services, minimizing the cost of care and maximizing the opportunities to reach men and women with family planning services. The endline survey show the results of the four year project.


Related News

Donation of Motorbikes Supports Family Planning in Niger

Niger motorbikes
Pathfinder's IMPACT project in Niger donates 50 motorbikes to the Ministry of Health in order to better serve the area's population.

Pathfinder Mourns Loss of Valerie DeFillipo

Pathfinder International mourns the loss of Valerie DeFillipo, and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

Mulheres em Idade Fértil Desconhecem Métodos Contraceptivos

A recent study in Mozambique found that of 1,432 women surveyed, 66% had never used any contraception.

Positive Strides in Tackling Maternal, Newborn Mortality

Degefech
Degefech Ayele is a Health Extension Workers at Walana Health Post in Kacha Bira Woreda, Kembata Tembaro Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State. She and her fellow workers provide family planning, vaccination for children under five and other healthcare services for the environs.
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