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 21,000 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 17 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.



Your support is critical to ensuring our work can continue. Your gift of $25 or $50 helps women and families access contraception, maternal and newborn care services, and a range of other reproductive health services.

Related Publications

April 2016

Expanding Contraceptive Options for Postpartum Women in Ethiopia: Introducing the Postpartum IUD

This technical brief explores the process through which Pathfinder’s Integrated Family Health Program (IFHP+) has expanded availability of postpartum family planning, including the postpartum IUD, in Ethiopia.

Expanding Access to the IUD
March 2016

Expanding Access to the Intrauterine Device in Public Health Facilities in Ethiopia: A Mixed-Methods Study

Following the introduction of IUDs into the Ethiopian public health sector, use increased from <1% in 2011 to 6% in 2014 in a sample of 40 health facilities. The IUD was acceptable to a diverse range of clients, including new contraceptive users, those with little to no education, those from rural areas, and younger women.

July 2015

Integrated Family Health Program: Endline Household Survey Summary Report

This household survey was designed to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and health behaviors among families in the Integrated Family Health Program's catchment areas between 2008 and 2013.

March 2015

Without Boundary: Health and Rights for Young People

Pathfinder believes every girl deserves a childhood. If her childhood is stolen from her, she needs access to high quality sexual and reproductive health care. This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's innovative work to address the urgent health needs of married girls and young women in West Africa—an extremely underserved group.

Related Projects

Cervical Cancer Prevention

With this five-year award from CDC, Pathfinder works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to increase access to and use of cervical cancer prevention services among HIV-positive women in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Community Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Project

PAST PROJECT: Pathfinder increased access to and demand for prevention of mother-to-child transmission services through the creation of a community-based, integrated model in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Ethiopian Women's and Girl's Empowerment through Education and Reproductive Health Knowledge and Access to Services

PAST PROJECT: With funding from the Packard Foundation, Pathfinder worked with local partners to improve the education, health, rights, and social status of adolescent girls and women.


Pathfinder Wins Excellence Award at InsideNGO Annual Conference

On July 13, 2016, InsideNGO honored Pathfinder International’s Program Systems Unit with its 2016 Excellence Award in Cross Operations at its annual conference in Washington, DC. Pathfinder was chosen as a winner due to its work in transforming a paper-based project compliance review system to a digital app and online monitoring portal, a transition that has greatly improved Pathfinder’s ability to monitor its many supported health facilities. After a successful pilot in Nigeria and roll-out in Bangladesh, the team is currently coordinating additional roll-outs in Tanzania, Kenya, and other locations.

What the US can learn from Ethiopia about birth control

What's more, women in Ethiopia are having fewer children (the fertility rate fell from an average of 6.5 children per woman in 2000 to 4.6 currently), maternal deaths are in decline, and more women are staying in school longer. Plus, more women are opting for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) instead of more traditional short-term methods like birth control pills or condoms.

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