Pathfinder International will raise funding to create an outreach network of trained peer counselors to help decrease the sexual and reproductive health problems among university students in Kampala, Uganda.
Pathfinder International believes that reproductive health is a basic human right. When parents can choose the timing of pregnancies and the size of their families, women's lives are improved, children grow up healthier, and poverty is reduced. Pathfinder provides women, men and adolescents throughout the developing world with access to quality family planning and reproductive health information and services. Pathfinder works to half the spread of HIV/AIDS, to provide care to women suffering from the complications of unsafe abortion, and to advocate for sound reproductive health policies in the U.S. and abroad.
For over 15 years, Pathfinder has supported integrated reproductive health and peer counseling programs in two public Kenyan universities, which have decreased unplanned pregnancies among students and reduced the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. Other comparative studies have confirmed that peer-based approaches make services more accessible and increase acceptance and use of contraception while simultaneously reducing rates of HIV/STI transmission. Additional data suggests that peer counselors, through their institutional leadership roles, are more apt to participate in post-graduation community development activities to improve health and eradicate poverty.
Pathfinder will take lessons learned from Kenya and will create a similar cadre of trained peer counselors to conduct sexual and reproductive health outreach at Makerere University in Uganda.