Photo by Pathfinder Uganda

Pathfinder’s work in Uganda dates back to 1957, when our founder’s “Pathfinder Fund” provided seed money to form the Family Planning Association of Uganda and establish clinical reproductive health services in several centers in Kampala.

Photo by Sarah Day

Since that time, and throughout the country’s 20-year civil war, Pathfinder remained committed to expanding access to critical sexual and reproductive health services. Today, we continue this work in Northern Uganda.

Photo by Sarah Day

In an area plagued by instability, high HIV and AIDS prevalence, and lack of access to contraceptives—despite high demand—we reach some of the country’s most neglected populations, including internally displaced refugees, women, and youth.

Photo by Sarah Day

Through one project, women and couples in 11 post-conflict districts can access anti-retroviral therapy, choose a method of contraception, and learn how protect their children from HIV—an integrated package of services.

Photo by Sarah Day

Through another project, Pathfinder and our partners are empowering families to meet their health needs and sustainably manage natural resources on which they depend.

Pathfinder International works in Uganda on a range of health issues—from maternal health to HIV and AIDS with special focus on family planning and youth.

Uganda is a country that has been plagued by political instability, high HIV and AIDS prevalence, and a lack of access to contraceptivesdespite high demand. The total fertility rate in Uganda is 5.9, which is one of the highest in the world. The high rate of unmet need for contraceptives (33 percent), combined with Uganda's increasing rate of population growth (3.3 percent), continue to hinder economic development, deepen poverty, and detract from the achievements that have been made in the social sector.

Only 26 percent of married women (aged 15-49) in Uganda use a modern method of contraception.

For more than 50 years, Pathfinder’s commitment to the people of Uganda—and their right to high quality family planning services and information—has never wavered. Our programs have evolved over the years, strengthening community-based organizations and Uganda’s health systems to ensure women, men, and young people can access the essential sexual and reproductive health services they need.

In 1957, our founder’s newly incorporated Pathfinding Fund provided seed money to form the Family Planning Association of Uganda. As a 20-year civil war raged during the 1970s and all other US-based sexual and reproductive health organizations withdrew their development assistance, Pathfinder remained in Uganda to support family planning activities in rural communities.

During the 1980s, Pathfinder pioneered the use of nonmedical personnel to deliver family planning services by training hundreds of village health workers and establishing primary health care clinics in rural communities. And a decade later, when HIV devastated communities, Pathfinder leveraged our strong in-country networks—including partnerships with the government, and Christian and Islamic faith-based organizations—to create a robust community home-based care initiative for people living with HIV that provides integrated sexual and reproductive health services.

Today, Pathfinder remains deeply invested in the implementation of family planning programs led and owned by Ugandans. With modern methods, strong systems, and accurate information, the people of Uganda will drive lasting progress in sexual and reproductive health. Our collaborative approach continues to address Uganda’s greatest needs with positive results.


Pathfinder International focuses on improving a range of reproductive health issues in Uganda, a country that has been plagued by political instability, high HIV prevalence, and a lack of access to contraceptives. Your gift of $25 or $50 is critical to ensuring that our work continues.

Our Projects

Photo by Sarah Day

Community-Based Organization Capacity Building Project

Nigeria, Tanzania,
Maternal & Newborn Health

In Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, Pathfinder aims to improve the capacity of community-based organizations to better prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

E2A - Evidence to Action thumbnail

Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls (E2A)

Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania,
Systems Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Gender Behavior Change Contraception & Family Planning

The Evidence to Action Project (E2A) is USAID’s global flagship for strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery.

Related Publications

October 2015

Hand in Hand: Changing Lives Together

This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's SCIP project and our success in reaching over four million Mozambicans with sexual and reproductive health services.

June 2015

Sustaining Health, Rights, and the Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin

Reflecting on the added value of a population, health, and environment (PHE) approach, this technical brief discusses implementation experience stemming from phase one of the Health of People and Environment-Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) project.

May 2015

National Village Health Teams Assessment in Uganda

Uganda adopted the Village Health Teams strategy in 2001 as a bridge in health service delivery between communities and health facilities. This assessment, conducted in 2015, sought to determine the VHT program’s functionality in Uganda.

December 2014

Change Starts Here: Pathfinder International 2014 Annual Report

We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.

Related News

VIDEO: 'Solar Suitcase' Helps Women Give Birth In Africa, Treats Medical Emergencies In The Dark

solar suitcase
In rural parts of Uganda, medical centers and makeshift hospitals are often left in the dark at night, making it difficult and even dangerous to treat medical emergencies or deliver babies at night. The “solar suitcase” is changing that.

With Just One Empowered Woman, An Entire Generation Can Be Changed

Thanks to the HoPE-LVB project, people on Uganda's Bussi Island are seeing improvements in their health and livelihoods.
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