Integrated Family Health Program
"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 peer educator
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.
IFHP is a six-year (2008-2014) USAID-funded program that promotes an integrated model for strengthening family planning; reproductive health; and maternal, newborn, and child health services for rural and underserved populations. IFHP is implemented in 301 woredas of four major regions of Ethiopia by Pathfinder and John Snow, Inc., in partnership with local implementing partner organizations.
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.
Some project successes to date include:
- More than 14,000 early marriages canceled or deferred
- Over 3,900 community and religious leaders sensitized on health and gender issues
- Nearly 11,000 young people trained as peer educators
- Over 11 million new family planning acceptors
- 243 youth-friendly sites established
- Nearly 2.8 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.
Pathfinder believes every girl deserves a childhood. If her childhood is stolen from her, she needs access to high quality sexual and reproductive health care. This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's innovative work to address the urgent health needs of married girls and young women in West Africa—an extremely underserved group.
Reflecting on the last five years of implementation, this technical brief shares how Pathfinder's IFHP has mobilized drivers for systems strengthening by prioritizing community needs and facilitating informed decision making.
This technical brief explores Pathfinder's Integrated Family Health Program's approach, implementation experience, and lessons learned when addressing obstetric fistula in four program regions of Ethiopia.
m4Youth: Providing Sexual and Reproductive Health Information to University Students and Peer Educators
Pathfinder is using m4youth, a free SMS service, to impact students’ knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, thereby increasing their utilization of services.
With this five-year award from CDC, Pathfinder works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to increase access to and use of cervical cancer prevention services among HIV-positive women in Ethiopia.
Pathfinder increased access to and demand for prevention of mother-to-child transmission services through the creation of a community-based, integrated model in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Ethiopian Women's and Girl's Empowerment through Education and Reproductive Health Knowledge and Access to Services
With funding from the Packard Foundation, Pathfinder worked with local partners to improve the education, health, rights, and social status of adolescent girls and women.
Degefech Ayele is a Health Extension Workers at Walana Health Post in Kacha Bira Woreda, Kembata Tembaro Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State. She and her fellow workers provide family planning, vaccination for children under five and other healthcare services for the environs.