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Pathfinder to lead $40 million US government-funded family planning and maternal, newborn, and child health program in Pakistan

Media Contact: Ali Rizvi, [email protected]

October 11, 2022 — USAID/Pakistan has awarded Pathfinder International $40,000,000 to strengthen primary health care systems and encourage the use of voluntary family planning (FP) and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services in Pakistan. This is the first large FP-focused program that USAID has funded in Pakistan over the last seven years.

The Building Health Families Activity will operate in Pakistan’s Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, addressing environmental and health barriers to uptake of integrated FP/MNCH services. The program will apply a market-development approach to optimize:

  • The stewardship of the public and private health sectors in leading resilient, responsive FP/MNCH systems.
  • Norms and behaviors that drive demand and motivate health workers to provide quality care, improving use of FP/MNCH services and products.
  • Access to FP/MNCH services through the availability of quality, affordable, and appropriate services, and the empowerment of men and youth to communicate about and demand essential products and services.

Driving health care equity will be foundational to the program’s approach, including the assurance that services are responsive to the needs of women, girls, and young people, and that health systems remain resilient to stressors and shocks from climate change. Our gender-responsive approaches will engage men and boys meaningfully, strengthen human resources for health, deploy new digital health solutions, and ensure commodity and supply chain security for FP/MNCH services, contributing to more resilient health systems.

“We are honored to partner with USAID and other local networks in Pakistan to bring this much-needed program to Pakistanis,” said Tabinda Sarosh, Pathfinder’s President, South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa. “We will build on our long-standing relationships with the government of Pakistan and the private sector to strengthen rights-based FP/MNCH services at scale in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, improving lives and building equity within groups that have been traditionally marginalized from accessing quality health care.”

Pathfinder has worked in Pakistan since 1985, collaborating with the government to improve policies, programs, and budgets for contraception; strengthen the skills of health providers and Lady Health Workers; and mobilize community and religious leaders to support the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. Pathfinder serves as technical lead of Sindh’s multisectoral coordination committee for gender-based violence, supported by UNFPA under the SihatMand Khandaan Project funded by Global Affairs Canada, and has been leading interdisciplinary climate-resilience work in the country. We are currently working with the private sector to improve health through our USAID-funded FHM Engage program.

*Pathfinder is still in the process of naming partners for this award and will announce all partners once they are confirmed.

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Pathfinder International is driven by the conviction that all people, regardless of where they live, have the right to decide whether and when to have children, to exist free from fear and stigma, and to lead the lives they choose. As a global health organization with locally led, community-driven programs, Pathfinder supports women to make their own reproductive health decisions. Pathfinder works with local partners to advance contraceptive services, comprehensive abortion care, and young people’s sexual and reproductive rights in communities around the world—including those affected by poverty, conflict, climate change, and natural disasters. Taken together, Pathfinder’s programs enable millions of people to choose their own paths forward.