In recent years, India has experienced unprecedented economic growth and now ranks as the world's tenth largest economy.
Across the country, women and girls of all ages are still in urgent need of quality health services. Adolescents—a critical, growing segment of the population—continue to go without reproductive health information and services. Of a total population of 1.29 billion, adolescents (ages 10-19 years) constitute nearly 30 percent, and investments in their health, education, and employment will shape the country's future. Young girls are especially at risk due to early marriage and early first pregnancy. Without knowledge of or access to family planning education and care, an early first pregnancy often results in another pregnancy shortly thereafter—starting a cycle of reproduction that can adversely affect the health and economic well-being of the entire family.
Pathfinder is committed to the people of India and their right to high quality sexual and reproductive health care. We have a long history of going where the need is greatest, ensuring India’s underserved populations can access the critical information and services they need—from projects testing contraceptive methods in 1953 to integrating family planning into existing social welfare programs in the early 1970s.
In 1999, a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported the first large-scale intervention to address the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young adults in Delhi slums, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Since then, Pathfinder's work has expanded to large projects addressing reproductive health and family planning; maternal and newborn health projects; and HIV and AIDS work. Pathfinder supports the Government of India and its partners to increase demand for family planning, reproductive health, and maternal health services, while equipping and empowering health care providers and communities to better address adolescent health, maternal child health, unsafe abortion, and HIV and AIDS.
To advance maternal and newborn health in India, Pathfinder implements programs for women at every step—from home to health facility. With our local partners, we train providers to help ensure safe pregnancies and deliveries and promote life-saving, emergency obstetric care. Pathfinder educates communities to identify danger signs of complications like postpartum hemorrhage—a leading cause of maternal death—and to activate transport systems for women to reach facilities for emergency care.
The Sashakt Project: Strengthening Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health aims to advance adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) among Mahadalit youth in Bihar, India.
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pathfinder will be working in partnership with government stakeholders and policymakers to expand family planning methods in Haryana, India.
PAST PROJECT: Pathfinder’s Matrika project brought improved maternal health care to three districts of Uttar Pradesh.
PAST PROJECT: ANANYA aims to empower women to make informed decisions about maternal and neonatal health.
This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's ongoing commitment to addressing the urgent needs of pregnant women and how we are improving their chances for a safe delivery—from India, to Nigeria, to Pakistan.
The purpose of the Working Paper Series is to disseminate work in progress by Pathfinder International staff on critical issues of population, reproductive health, and development.
In a year of remarkable achievement, including Pathfinder’s landmark victory at the US Supreme Court and our return to Bangladesh with a $53.8 million project, what was most exciting? The answer—integration—is the theme of Pathfinder’s 2013 Annual Report.
PRAGYA: Multisectoral, Gendered Approach to Improve Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young People
PRAGYA, meaning "insight" in Sanskrit, is a mixed methods study commissioned by USAID and conducted by Pathfinder India to improve understanding of the effects of Phases I and II of the PRACHAR project.