Integrated Family Health Program

Watch Pathfinder Ethiopia's Dr. Mengistu Asnake discuss the impact the Integrated Family Health Program has had in the Ethiopia and learn more about the power of integration.

Photo by Sala Lewis

At a community conversation, supported by the Integrated Family Health Program, a religious leader addresses a group of more than 60 people.

 

Photo by Sala Lewis

“Since the time of our fathers, this practice of early marriage has been part of our tradition,” he says. “But it has affected our children in unhealthy ways.”

Photo by Sala Lewis

“At first everyone claps their hands while watching these early marriages, but then the parents are crying because their children suffer from all kinds of illnesses. Now we are learning about harmful practices."

Photo by Sala Lewis

“Girls must have access to school, and when they want to marry is now based on their choice."

Photo by Sala Lewis

"We must stop these harmful marriage practices as well as others like female genital cutting. Pathfinder is helping us to change these practices for the future of our community.”

"There was one unforgettable experience during my job. We were gathered, through the coffee ceremony, to share knowledge. The young people asked questions about how to properly use a condom. All the other female educators became shy and refused to display it. Except me. I still remember that day and feel proud for what I have done." -Winta Aregay, 24-year-old Pathfinder-trained youth peer educator

Background

As one of Pathfinder’s flagship programs, the Integrated Family Health Program (IFHP) stands to make a lasting contribution to the government of Ethiopia’s efforts to improve its health care systems and is expected to reach more than half the nation’s population. Ethiopia has shown incredible progress on health indicators in the past decade, including doubling its contraceptive prevalence rate twice in a matter of ten years. Despite Ethiopia's growth in health service provision, its population and the government still face significant challenges to ending early marriage, giving women and girls the ability to time and space their pregnancies, reducing maternal mortality, and slowing transmission of HIV.

These are some of the key challenges that Pathfinder's Integrated Family Health Program set out to address.

Project profile

The Integrated Family Health Program is a six-year (2008-2014) USAID-funded program. IFHP promotes an integrated model for strengthening family planning; reproductive health; and maternal, newborn, and child health services for rural and underserved populations in Ethiopia. IFHP assists in the provision of service delivery in 301 woredas of the four major regions of Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People Region, and Tigray, and to a lesser extent in Benishangul Gumuz and Somali regions. IFHP is implemented by Pathfinder International and John Snow, Inc., in partnership with local implementing partner organizations.

approach

Pathfinder works to increase access to services at the community level and continues to support the government’s initiative to improve access to long-acting contraception methods as part of the mix of family planning services. Pathfinder also works with the government to strengthen systems and train health providers so that more women receive the services they desire. 

IFHP recently conducted community mobilization and behavior change activities focused on women’s and girls' health. These activities are highly integrated, with all reproductive health messaging combined with other cross-cutting issues such as awareness on early marriage, gender-based violence and fistula.

Some project successes to date include:

  • More than 12,000 early marriages canceled or deferred
  • Over 3,600 community and religious leaders sensitized on health and gender issues
  • Nearly 8,000 young people trained as peer educators
  • Over 11 million new family planning acceptors
  • 160 youth-friendly sites established
  • Nearly 1.5 million visits to youth-friendly sites

IFHP’s excellent performance has led to a funded extension of nearly $14 million in its fifth year through the Pathfinder-led E2A program.

To learn more, visit the project's website.

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Strengthening the Continuum of Care for Fistula Prevention and Repair in Ethiopia

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