Uganda is a country that has been plagued by political instability, high HIV and AIDS prevalence, and a lack of access to contraceptives—despite 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.
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.
In Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, Pathfinder aims to improve the capacity of community-based organizations to better prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls (E2A)
The Evidence to Action Project (E2A) is USAID’s global flagship for strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery.
The HoPE project reduces threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem degradation in the Lake Victoria Basin while increasing access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health to improve maternal and child health in local communities.
Pathfinder worked in Northern Uganda to impact gender norms, through behavioral research and scalable interventions, to positively influence reproductive health outcomes, reduce gender-based violence and improve gender equity among adolescents.
This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's SCIP project and our success in reaching over four million Mozambicans with sexual and reproductive health services.
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.
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.
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.