Integrated Family Health Program

Watch Pathfinder Ethiopia's Dr. Mengistu Asnake discuss the impact the Integrated Family Health Program has had in the Ethiopia and learn more about the power of integration.

Photo by Sala Lewis

At a community conversation, supported by the Integrated Family Health Program, a religious leader addresses a group of more than 60 people.

 

Photo by Sala Lewis

“Since the time of our fathers, this practice of early marriage has been part of our tradition,” he says. “But it has affected our children in unhealthy ways.”

Photo by Sala Lewis

“At first everyone claps their hands while watching these early marriages, but then the parents are crying because their children suffer from all kinds of illnesses. Now we are learning about harmful practices."

Photo by Sala Lewis

“Girls must have access to school, and when they want to marry is now based on their choice."

Photo by Sala Lewis

"We must stop these harmful marriage practices as well as others like female genital cutting. Pathfinder is helping us to change these practices for the future of our community.”

"There was one unforgettable experience during my job. We were gathered, through the coffee ceremony, to share knowledge. The young people asked questions about how to properly use a condom. All the other female educators became shy and refused to display it. Except me. I still remember that day and feel proud for what I have done." -Winta Aregay, 24-year-old Pathfinder-trained peer educator

As one of Pathfinder’s flagship programs, the Integrated Family Health Program (IFHP) stands to make a lasting contribution to the government of Ethiopia’s efforts to improve its health care systems and is expected to reach more than half the nation’s population. Ethiopia has shown incredible progress on health indicators in the past decade, including doubling its contraceptive prevalence rate twice in a matter of ten years. Despite Ethiopia's growth in health service provision, its population and the government still face significant challenges to ending early marriage, giving women and girls the ability to time and space their pregnancies, reducing maternal mortality, and slowing transmission of HIV.

IFHP is a six-year (2008-2014) USAID-funded program that promotes an integrated model for strengthening family planning; reproductive health; and maternal, newborn, and child health services for rural and underserved populations. IFHP is implemented in 301 woredas of four major regions of Ethiopia by Pathfinder and John Snow, Inc., in partnership with local implementing partner organizations.

Pathfinder works to increase access to services at the community level and continues to support the government’s initiative to improve access to long-acting contraception methods as part of the mix of family planning services. Pathfinder also works with the government to strengthen systems and train health providers so that more women receive the services they desire. 

Some project successes to date include:

  • More than 14,000 early marriages canceled or deferred
  • Over 3,900 community and religious leaders sensitized on health and gender issues
  • Nearly 11,000 young people trained as peer educators
  • Over 11 million new family planning acceptors
  • 243 youth-friendly sites established
  • Nearly 2.8 million visits to youth-friendly sites

IFHP’s excellent performance has led to a funded extension of nearly $14 million in its fifth year through the Pathfinder-led E2A program.

To learn more, visit the project's website.

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