Why pathfinder works in Myanmar
Pathfinder International has a historical commitment to Myanmar, having played a major part in the formation of the Family Planning Association of Myanmar (then Burma) in 1960. Today, Pathfinder advocates for increased resources for funding for family planning and sexual and reproductive health services in Myanmar. Pathfinder also works closely with national and local stakeholders to improve the policy environment, increasing support for family planning programs.
Myanmar faces a high rate of maternal mortality and hopes to achieve an ambitious goal of lowering that rate from 240 per 100,000 live births to 105 per 100,000 live births by 2015 as a part of its Millennium Development Goals. Many maternal deaths still occur in rural areas, where women are less likely to give birth in a health facility or receive assistance from a skilled health provider. Poverty, unsafe abortion, rough terrain, and a shortage of midwives are also major contributors to maternal deaths. 1 in 5 women in Myanmar are unable to access contraception to delay, time, and space their pregnancies, representing a tremendous unmet need.
Recognizing Myanmar's need for quality sexual and reproductive health services, Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate avenues for increasing access to family planning. Pathfinder has worked closely key stakeholders such the national Ministry of Health, multilateral agencies like UNFPA, and international NGOs to increase understanding of Myanmar's need for family planning programs and assistance.
Most recently, Pathfinder received funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to assess Myanmar's capacity for supporting family planning programs by identifying gaps in funding. The assessment also examined Myanmar's ability to meet its Millennium Development Goals related to improving health and wellbeing of its growing population and made suggestions for future growth.
Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate for increasing attention and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs in Myanmar.