Myanmar has suffered from years of military rule and isolation, but is now on the road to democratization and active global engagement. The new government is committed to lifting the rural population out of poverty and offering universal health access.

The Myanmar delegation at the International Family Planning Conference at Addis Ababa in 2013 where the Government of Myanmar announced its FP2020 commitment.

Pathfinder organized the Family Planning Best Practices Conference in July 2014 with the Ministry of Health and international partners. Frontline health workers and medical officers from ten townships were invited to this conference.

In May 2015, Pathfinder organized a Family Planning conference in Shan State with UNFPA, modeled after the national conference. Health staff from 21 townships discussed bottlenecks to service delivery and came up with action plans.

In Myanmar, Pathfinder engages key stakeholders and mobilizes resources to remove barriers women face in accessing contraception.

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: 1 in 250 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. 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. One in 5 women in Myanmar are unable to access contraception to delay, time, and space their pregnancies, representing a tremendous unmet need.

Pathfinder's approach

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 with key stakeholders such the national Ministry of Health, multilateral agencies such as UNFPA and WHO, and international NGOs to increase understanding of Myanmar's need for family planning programs and assistance.

For the past three years, Pathfinder has received funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to support efforts to scale up best global practices in family planning and related reproductive health services. In July 2014, we supported the organization of a Family Planning Best Practices Conference in Naypyitaw with the Myanmar government, which has been followed by workshops at the state levels to reach more townships with state-of-the-art technical information and instructional materials, and to provide opportunities for township health staff to share ongoing effective practices and innovations. The work continues in close collaboration with the Department of Health, with advice and support of local and international NGO partners and donor agencies.


Our Projects

Family Planning Model Townships in Myanmar


Pathfinder will work with the Ministry of Health to improve the availability of contraceptive supplies by providing necessary technical assistance, coordination and financial support to address the shortage of injectables and implants.

Family Planning in Myanmar

Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Myanmar

Maternal & Newborn Health Advocacy Contraception & Family Planning

Pathfinder continues to explore, identify, and advocate for increasing attention and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs in Myanmar.

Related Publications

May 2016

Strategies to Advance Abortion Rights and Access in Restrictive Settings: A Cross-Country Analysis

This publication explores strategies to advance abortion access and rights in four countries—Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and DRC—with differing degrees of legal and social restrictiveness. Through semi-structured interviews with Pathfinder field offices and partners, this publication highlights approaches to advance abortion access and rights common across all four countries, as well as approaches unique to each country’s legal and social context.

March 2014

Cue Cards for Counseling Adolescents on Contraception - Myanmar (Multiple Languages)

The set of cue cards is designed to help a range of community- and facility-based providers to counsel adolescents and young people on their contraceptive options.

Related News

Myanmar’s Changing Political Landscape: An Opportunity for Quality Reproductive Health Care

The political landscape in Myanmar is undergoing a big change. Together with other positive developments discussed ahead, this presents a favorable political environment to push for health reforms and create a foundation to advance quality and rights issues in reproductive health.

The Road To 2030: Keeping Reproductive Health Supplies in Myanmar’s Universal Health Coverage Scheme

Preparations for universal health coverage are progressing steadily in Myanmar. Reproductive health supplies, including contraceptives, are already a priority for the government.
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