Family Planning and Maternal Health

Family Planning and Maternal Health

At CARE, we believe reproductive choice and bodily autonomy are basic human rights. Unfortunately, many girls and women each year are denied these rights. Hundreds of thousands die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Millions who want to use family planning have no access to relevant information, services, and supplies. Thousands are forced into marriages as children, and millions do not have the ability to choose if, when, and how often they have children.

We know that power dynamics and unequal social and gender norms constrain women and girls’ ability to access and use family planning, and that global human workforce shortages deprive many of access to skilled care. We know that the increasing number of humanitarian crises and situations of chronic instability makes services harder to reach, and that space for civil society is shrinking and that women and girls still struggle to be heard.

Millions of women live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare. Even if a woman is fortunate enough to have the power and means to seek medical services, she may find the nearest facility lacks basic supplies and properly trained staff providing culturally appropriate care.

The vast majority of maternal deaths are preventable, but preventing them means addressing underlying issues to create lasting changes.  These changes include improving the status of women in their communities, and empowering them to protect their health and make choices about their future.


Family Planning and Maternal Health Projects

Chat! (Cambodia)
This project aims to support women garment workers in making informed sexual choices, accessing reliable reproductive health services, and preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Community Score Card for PMTCT (Malawi)
This project aims to improve key prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) outcomes including adherence and retention in treatment and early infant diagnosis of HIV while increasing dialogue between consumers of PMTCT services, providers delivering services, and government officials providing oversight of health services.

This project aims to reduce maternal and child mortality by integrating immunization and family planning service delivery and creating a supportive environment that encourages sustainable immunization practices while addressing barriers to family planning uptake.

IMAGINE (Bangladesh, Niger)
This project aims to assist married adolescent girls in delaying their first births through voluntary use of modern contraceptive methods.

Maternal Health Alliance Project (Malawi)
This project aimed to identify broadly applicable strategies, approaches and methodologies for systematically improving implementation of evidence-based reproductive, maternal, and newborn health interventions.

Projet Espoir (Mali)
This project aimed to improve maternal health – with a specific focus on safe delivery practices – by improving the quality of care at local health centers and challenging social, gender, and cultural norms that inhibit women’s access to essential health services before, during, and after childbirth.

SAFPAC (Chad, DR Congo, Mali)
SAFPAC (Safe Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care) integrates essential sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services into acute and protracted humanitarian emergencies.

TAMANI (Tanzania)
This project aims to empower regional and district level health planners to effectively plan for, and deliver respectful and skilled reproductive health care, improve the skills of health care workers to effectively manage labor and delivery, and support communities to address local barriers that impede access to sexual and reproductive health care, especially for women and girls.

Tekponen Jikuagou (Benin)
This project aimed to address unmet need for family planning by applying social network theory and analysis to move from targeting individuals with behavior change activities to thinking of individuals as members of formal and informal networks that influence behaviors.

Vijana Juu (DR Congo)
This project aimed to improve quality of and access to reproductive health services for adolescents while increasing their agency and capacity to create positive change in their lives and communities.


Other SRHR Programs:

SRHR: Family Planning

Adolescent SRHR

Young people have sexual and reproductive health needs, too.

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Special consideration has been given to the needs of women and girls whose specific needs add to their vulnerability in disasters. They are at greater risk of facing gender-based violence and psychosocial trauma.

SRHR: Emergency

SRHR in Emergencies

Sex and pregnancy don’t stop during crisis, when risks are higher.

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Rahmo is a mother of six children. Two of her children are being treated in CARE's nutrition centre. "It's so difficult seeing my babies cry for food and not be able to feed them," says Rahmo.

SRHR: Health System

Health Systems

Strengthening systems and improving workforce effectiveness.

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Women carry food and wood on their heads along the road in northern Sierra Leone.