Making patients walk 18 miles to a clinic with a UTI? Requiring their husband's permission to get birth control? Women deserve better health care than this.
The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
"Any primary health clinic that doesn't provide abortions is a missed opportunity," said Demet Güral, a physician and vice-president of programmes at Pathfinder International.
Even if women have access to contraception, there are always failure rates, says Güral, and it is essential they can access safe abortion if needed.
"Especially for youth; most are not married, they have a future. How can you talk about family planning for youth and not talk about abortion?
The Female Condom 2 is far more successful than many in the West realise. It is available in 138 countries, sales have more than doubled since 2007, and the Female Health Company has been turning a profit for eight years.
The vast majority of sales are to four customers - the US aid agency (USAID), the UN and the ministries of health in Brazil and South Africa. Donors and public health officials are keen on anything that gives women the upper hand in what they call "condom negotiation" with men.
Family Planning: Coverage, Access to Services Poor, Says Report by Pathfinder International and UNFPA
Tauseef Ahmed, Pathfinder International’s country representative said, “Devolution was done in a hurry without capacity-building of provincial counterparts for their new responsibilities.” Family planning is the right of every woman and by depriving them, you’re putting their lives at stake, he added.
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Focus Area: Advocacy
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Today nearly half of the world population is under the age of 25 with young people of age 10-24 making up to 30-40 percent of the entire population in most developing countries. Worldwide, every year, more than 14 million girls are married before they turn 18. Every day, some 37,000 girls are robbed of their childhood.
Tune in to hear "voices to inspire" speak from the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The Women Development Army are women that have implemented the health extension program of government very well so that others in their communities can see what they are benefitting out of this health extension program so that they can adapt or adopt what this Women Development Army are doing,” said Tariku Nigatu, who works with Pathfinder International in Ethiopia.
Pasiens Mapunda, a reproductive health expert at Pathfinder International, told IRIN that while "women are beginning to take up family planning and facility births are increasing" challenges such as "inadequate health facilities, long distance[s] from homes to the nearest available hospital and even low staffing still remain and needs to be dealt with."
Dr. Mengistu Asnake of Ethiopia is the second recipient of the 2013 EXCELL award for family planning achievement at the individual level. Dr. Asnake is Pathfinder International’s Country Representative in Ethiopia, and also serves as its Chief of Party for the Integrated Family Health Program. Dr. Asnake has played a key role in the development of national family planning strategies and guidelines.
Civil society and NGOs are also essential to these efforts. A USAID partnership with Pathfinder International and John Snow, Inc. is using innovative task-sharing programs to expand access to long-acting contraceptives in rural areas through community-based provision of implants.
This Wednesday, at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Pathfinder International discussed innovative approaches for scaling-up family planning services in places where socio-cultural barriers play a significant role in hindering a women’s ability to plan her family.
At a rural health post in the Tigray region, we spoke to a young woman named Meheret, who has been a health extension worker for eight years, and had received training through the USAID-funded Integrated Family Health Program implemented by Pathfinder International. She has seen many changes during that time but remembers well the tough challenges at the outset.
As youth are more interconnected than ever, it is easy for them to pass on information to each other. Pathfinder is one organization now focusing on a digital strategy, and its new text messaging service was also discussed at the conference today.
Yesterday, at the International Conference on Family Planning, which is being held in Addis Ababa from 12-15 November, Pathfinder International’s technical advisor Cllie Simon said young people themselves helped identify the major barriers they face in accessing contraception. The organisation then designed two distinct mCeans! messages: one for those who are parenting and one for those who are not. Simon said: “We did it with the youth, by the youth, and for the youth.”
Country: Mozambique, Ethiopia
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health