Family Planning for People and Planet

A Population, Health, Environment Approach in the Lake Victoria Basin

Executive Summary

This case study illustrates the relationship between population, family planning, community health, and the sustainability of natural resources in the Lake Victoria Basin, the largest lake basin on the African continent. It demonstrates how these dimensions are shaped by many factors, including human-caused alteration to the lake, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and environmental degradation.

The case analyzes the effectiveness of addressing these challenges using an integrated approach called PHE. PHE stands for population, health, and environment. Since 2012, Pathfinder International’s Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) has been a flagship PHE project in the region. Its approach has three arms: (a) increasing education and access to the tools that help with healthy timing and spacing of children (population); (b) improving sexual and reproductive health, in addition to sanitation and hygiene standards among families (health); (c) supporting the shift to sustainable fishing and agriculture (environment).

Using these three arms of PHE, Pathfinder’s project in Uganda and Kenya has demonstrated why a comprehensive approach is necessary to address the Lake Victoria Basin’s complex suite of problems. With a focus on policymaking, advocacy, and institutionalization of best practices, HoPE-LVB is a model for how district, national, and regional bodies can adopt multi-sectoral PHE approaches in their work.

This case study is based on interviews conducted on Bussi Island, Zinga Island, and Kampala (Uganda) as well as Nairobi, Kenya in September and October 2018.

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This case study was written by Hilary Duff

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Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 340 universities, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts.
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