Contraception & Family Planning
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.
Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.
Using Community Scorecards, this project empowered citizens in Tanzania to improve the quality of their own reproductive health services.
Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate for increasing attention and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs in Myanmar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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