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.