Peru

Photo by Karl Grobl

In Peru, Pathfinder’s family planning work has been especially important. For nearly 40 years, we have helped expand access to contraceptives, build the skills of providers, and strengthen training systems.

Photo by Karl Grobl

“Pathfinder led the program that established Peru’s national accreditation and recertification system, ensuring medical providers’ knowledge and skills are up-to-date,” said Dr. Miguel Gutiérrez, Pathfinder’s Country Representative.

Photo by Karl Grobl

Today thanks to enormous strides made in the country’s public sector and improved access
to reproductive health services, the fertility rate has decreased dramatically—from 6.5 in 1969 to 2.6 in 2009.

Photo by Karl Grobl

More women are choosing the size of their families, but too many challenges persist. For example, an estimated 425,000 clandestine abortions are performed annually, often putting
 women’s lives or health at risk.

Photo by Karl Grobl

Pathfinder partners with government and medical leaders to ensure women’s access to care to manage complications from unsafe abortions. Always, this includes immediate contraceptive services to help women prevent future unwanted pregnancies.

Photo by Karl Grobl

“Pathfinder supports 25 hospitals. We’ve trained close to 900 providers in comprehensive postabortion care,” said Miguel. “And by training trainers, we’ve enabled the government to expand its postabortion care program to 100+ facilities.”

Photo by Julia G Kahrl

This means more women can access the comprehensive services they need, and that Peru’s progress can continue

Pathfinder International works in Peru to establish, expand, and improve the quality of tuberculosis prevention and immunization services, family planning and reproductive health (including safe abortion), and maternal and child health service delivery.

Why Pathfinder Works in Peru

Pathfinder first started working in Peru in 1983. The country has made enormous strides over the last 29 years in the growth of its economy and the development of its public health sector. Thanks to great improvements in the availability and quality of reproductive health and family planning services, Peru has seen its fertility rate drop from 6.5 births per woman in 1969 to 2.5 births per woman today. Nonetheless, great disparities in access to quality health care services still exist. Well-equipped health facilities and trained personnel are heavily concentrated in middle-class urban areas, particularly metropolitan Lima. The overcrowded settlements at Lima’s periphery—products of urban migration—are increasingly underserved, as are many of the country’s geographically isolated areas in the Andes and the Amazon basin. The reproductive health consequences of poor access to basic health care, low modern contraceptive use, and high rates of unsafe abortion are particularly serious for these high-risk populations.

Today, Pathfinder provides technical assistance in family planning, maternal and child health, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, and the prevention and control of infections like tuberculosis and malaria. In each of these areas, Pathfinder acts as a facilitator in cross-cutting processes like quality management, human resources training, and the promotion of health behaviors at the community level.

In the last 10 years, the prevalence rate of modern contraceptive methods has remained virtually unchanged, while the use of traditional methods has witnessed significant increase, especially those used among the poorest women living in rural areas.

Evidence for Decision-Making

A key aspect of Pathfinder’s approach to systems’ strengthening is collecting data that enables public, private, and community partners to make informed health-related decisions. In Peru, examples of the kinds of data we collect range from the “number of trainers trained on immunizations for Pneumococcal, Rotavirus and Human Papillomavirus” and the “number of small community vaccine campaigns ” to the “number of secondary-level students (age 12-16) reached by activities promoting respiratory health and TB prevention.” Some illustrative data from Pathfinder’s recent projects in Peru include:

  • 634 professional teachers of basic regular education from secondary level have been trained in TB prevention
  • 610 health care providers have been trained on Pneumococcal, Rotavirus and Human Papilloma Virus vaccinations
  • 693,465 community members have participated in TB prevention activities

Building Capacity, Strengthening Systems

The Peruvian government has long-recognized that strengthening health and community systems in Peru would greatly improve the accessibility to and quality of sexual and reproductive health services for many urban and peri-urban citizens. Pathfinder works to strengthen systems and build capacity in Peru by establishing partnerships with key government agencies, universities, and schools.

These partnerships have, for example, allowed Pathfinder to:

  • Implement an effective model of postabortion care in hospitals run by the Ministry of Health
  • Assist in building the capacity of health providers
  • Promote and administer the WHO-endorsed immunization strategy throughout Lima
  • Address local barriers to vaccination by forming a network of interdisciplinary teams in each region of the country to combat the myths and prejudices surrounding vaccines

Peru, Uruguay South-to-South video thumbnail

DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT OUR WORK IN PLACES LIKE Peru

Pathfinder International works in Peru to establish, expand, and improve the quality of tuberculosis prevention, family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health service delivery. Your gift of $25 or $50 is essential in ensuring that our work continues.

Our Projects

Saving the Lives of Mothers and Newborns

Saving the Lives of Mothers and Newborns in the La Libertad Region of Peru

Maternal & Newborn Health

Pathfinder works closely with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to improve mother and newborn health and reduce maternal mortality in La Libertad region of Peru.

Global Fund TB Prevention

Making a Difference: Strengthening a Comprehensive and Integral Response against Tuberculosis in Peru

Maternal & Newborn Health

The project focuses on policy promotion in the health and education sectors and building the capacity of local and regional governments and civil societies.

Related Publications

May 2010

A Time for Action: Abortion advocacy in Brazil and Peru

In 2008, Pathfinder International sponsored a delegation of key Brazilian and Peruvian partners to Mexico City to support ongoing abortion advocacy project in Brazil and Peru.

January 2010

Comprehensive Safe Abortion Programming: The Pathfinder International Approach

This paper presents Pathfinder's comprehensive approach to safe abortion programming including provider training, client friendly counseling, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations including youth, community mobilization, and advocacy.

January 2008

Pathfindings

The Pathfindings Publications Series

January 2005

CATALYST - A Compendium of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities Worldwide

From 2000 to 2005, Pathfinder International served as the managing partner of the CATALYST Consortium, a global reproductive health initiative.

Related News

One Year After Introduction, Contraceptive Implant Use Sees Rapid Increase in Peru

It’s only been a year since Pathfinder, UNFPA, and Peru’s Ministry of Health first introduced Implanon in Peru, but Pathfinder’s Peru Country Representative, Dr. Miguel Gutierrez, says the country is already seeing a rapid increase in the method’s use.

When Just Saying "No" Is Not Enough

Katy Sorenson reflects on her visit to family planning projects in Peru with Pathfinder International and Population Action International, emphasizing the importance of sexual and reproductive health around the world.

Investments in family planning—whether at home or abroad—just make sense. Women who have access to a full range of effective contraceptive methods and reproductive health services are better able to protect themselves against HIV, more likely to get further education, and better able to earn a good living to support themselves and their families.

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