Reproductive Health Global Program

Working to ensure reproductive health

A basic human right

Reproductive health is a basic human right, yet some women don’t receive the care and resources they need to preserve and protect their reproductive health. Poor reproductive health affects not only women and men, but their children, families, and communities.

PATH works to ensure the reproductive health of women, men, and youth in lower- and lower-middle–income countries. Our work is aligned with PATH’s mission of advancing technologies and program innovation, strengthening supply systems and service delivery systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors that positively affect reproductive health.

Protecting women from cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, yet it kills about 275,000 women each year, mostly in low-income countries. PATH is working on screening methods that are rapid, affordable, and easy to use—even in rural areas without sophisticated laboratory facilities. We’re also helping countries plan strategic use of vaccines against human papillomavirus, the leading cause of cervical cancer, as part of a comprehensive approach to protecting women from the disease. Learn more.

Improving access to contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies

To address family planning needs, PATH develops, adapts, and introduces women-centered reproductive health technologies, such as contraceptives delivered in the Uniject™ injection system. We support countries in incorporating contraceptives into their health programs, and we have played a central role in advancing access to emergency contraception worldwide.

We use innovative methods to increase communities’ access to important health resources. For example, we strengthened the capacity of staff in commercial pharmacies to provide high-quality services that reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among young people.

We work with countries to prepare for the introduction of new reproductive health products and to sustain existing family planning programs and services. Our collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) helped raise the profile of reproductive health within the WHO Essential Medicines Programme to ensure developing countries have access to good-quality medicines and devices.

As secretariat for the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), we provide global leadership in making essential reproductive health supplies available in developing countries. Learn more on the RHSC website.

Gathering information to improve women’s health

PATH also makes sure public health professionals have tools to support and improve women’s health. We compile the most recent scientific knowledge on reproductive health topics, such as violence against women and the role of microfinance in women’s health. We share the information with our global colleagues, helping inform plans and policies to meet women’s needs worldwide.

Banner photo: Miguel Alvarez.