In the late 1970s, PATH began work on our very first project—helping manufacturers in China set up facilities for making high-quality condoms and other contraceptives. We played an important part in helping millions of Chinese couples gain access to the reliable contraception that was already available in industrialized countries.
Over the past three decades we have expanded our efforts to include other health issues and communities throughout Asia. Today we have field offices in Cambodia, China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. We are improving health throughout the region.
We started in China more than 30 years ago. Today we have field offices in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and our work is improving health throughout the region.
PATH has been supporting the reconstruction and development of Cambodia’s health system since 1995. In 1999, we opened our office in Phnom Penh. Working with government, nongovernment, and private-sector partners, PATH provides technical support to increase access to essential health interventions in Cambodia. Our ability to collaborate effectively with both public- and private-sector partners is essential to the success of initiatives that improve care for a range of health issues, including immunization, reproductive health, child health, and infectious diseases.
Our recent projects in Cambodia include:
- Introducing a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis to protect children at greatest risk of contracting this disabling and often deadly disease.
- Improving policies and interventions to strengthen the integration of childhood pneumonia and diarrheal disease activities into broader child survival initiatives.
- Bringing together the public and private sectors—such as health centers and pharmacies—to help prevent the emergence of drug-resistant malaria.
- Researching the potential for commercial models to provide sanitation and household water storage and treatment products to low-income consumers.
- Reaching private-sector health care providers and their clients with information about tuberculosis and referrals to testing and treatment facilities.
- Developing a training program on family nutrition for integration into a key food-security project.
Since 1979, PATH has collaborated with Chinese government agencies, NGOs, research institutes, and manufacturers to improve health, particularly reproductive, maternal, and child health. In the 1980s, we helped the People’s Republic of China develop new facilities for the manufacture of oral and injectable contraceptives, condoms, and IUDs. We have since partnered with Chinese agencies in adolescent reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and vaccines and immunization. After nearly 25 years of activity in China, PATH opened its representative office in Beijing in 2003.
Currently, we are:
- Implementing programs to empower and enhance the health of young girls in rural China. We are giving them the information they need to make healthy decisions—and the confidence to stand by them, despite gender inequities.
- Increasing access to Japanese encephalitis vaccine through work with both private- and public-sector partners, including collaboration with China’s Centers for Disease Control to evaluate and enhance JE surveillance and immunization systems.
- Working with research partners to develop new screening tests that detect human papillomavirus (a precursor of cervical cancer) and are safe, accurate, reliable, and acceptable to women and health care providers. As part of this project, we are screening thousands of women for this fatal but preventable disease.
- Supporting development of a malaria vaccine candidate through partnerships that include a Chinese biotechnology enterprise and the World Health Organization.
- Investigating the market needs and feasibility of introducing fortified rice into China.
- Advancing rotavirus vaccine development with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.
With a population of more than one billion people, India is brimming with diverse ethnicities, languages, and cultures. PATH began its work in India the late 1990s, bringing governments, communities, private-sector companies, and experienced public health practitioners together to address some of the country’s most crucial health problems.
One of our first large projects was the USAID-funded Program for Advancements of Commercial Technology—Child and Reproductive Health (PACT-CRH). In early 2000, the scope of our India program expanded with a major immunization initiative for Andhra Pradesh state. Today, with offices in Bohpal, Lucknow, Mumbai, New Delhi, Patna, and Hyderabad, PATH’s India projects focus on immunization, HIV/AIDS, injection safety, and microbicides.
Current activities include:
- Strengthening routine immunization services and introducing new vaccines (including hepatitis B vaccine) into India’s Universal Immunization Programme. We are also the secretariat of the India Injection Safety Coalition, for which we were a founding member.
- Creating a model project for immunization services in Andhra Pradesh, where PATH and the government achieved universal coverage of hepatitis B vaccine for all infants for the first time.
- Enhancing the capacity of the private sector to produce high-quality child and reproductive health products by providing financial and technical support through the PACT-CRH project.
- Researching the introduction, acceptability, and regulatory environment of products such as microbicides, the female condom, and the improved diaphragm.
- Launching the Tarang project, which will work to reduce HIV incidence by helping individuals and communities assess risks and vulnerabilities to HIV and STIs—and build the skills, knowledge, and motivation to adopt preventive behaviors.
PATH opened an office in Jakarta in 1983 and began serving Indonesia’s ethnically and culturally diverse population of 200 million people. Until our offices in Jakarta and Banda Aceh closed in October 2009, our projects in Indonesia focused on improving maternal and neonatal health, introducing new and improved technologies, and strengthening immunization systems. These efforts achieved significant changes in health policy and increased Indonesia’s capacity to address its own health problems.
Our work in Indonesia focused on:
- Increasing midwives’ capacity to administer hepatitis B vaccine through the Uniject™ injection system. Our efforts helped Indonesia become an early adopter of the device, which is now manufactured and filled with hepatitis B vaccine in Bandung.
- Developing hospital-based surveillance programs for Japanese encephalitis and rotavirus. Getting a handle on the prevalence of these diseases helped decision-makers allocate resources appropriately and provided valuable information about where health officials should focus outreach efforts.
- Advancing technologies such as solar-powered refrigerators for vaccines, diagnostic tests for tuberculosis, and emergency contraception.
- Implementing projects that energized communities around maternal and neonatal health. We helped communities recognize the value of immunization and other healthy practices, such as breastfeeding. We also helped them find new ways to participate in their health systems—for example, by setting up registries to record births, deaths, and causes of deaths.
- Identifying barriers to tuberculosis treatment and compliance. We worked with the National Tuberculosis Program, the World Health Organization, and the Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Foundation.
- Collaborating with a range of groups—manufacturers, local and international suppliers, government groups, pharmacy associations, and others—to increase the availability of interventions such as emergency contraception and hepatitis B vaccine.
As a hub for many of our activities in Asia, our Thailand program has long been a leader in HIV/AIDS prevention and adolescent health. When the AIDS epidemic was just emerging in the 1980s, we provided HIV-prevention training to factory workers and crucial training to health colleagues. Now joined by two other PATH offices in the Mekong Region, our staff in Thailand are developing innovative behavior change interventions and advancing significant public health technologies.
A particularly important aspect of our work in Thailand has been increasing the capacity of pharmacy and drugstore personnel, who are often the first—and sometimes only—health care providers for some populations. Working closely with the Ministry of Public Health, our staff have conducted training and developed resources that help pharmacy staff provide critical health information to consumers and ensure that quality and safety standards are met. These experiences have served as a model for programs that are now underway in Cambodia, Vietnam, Kenya, and Nicaragua.
Currently, our projects in Thailand focus on:
- Reaching adolescents with information and skills through an innovative e-learning tool (www.teenpath.net).
- Improving the health and quality of life for migrants and their families through the PROMDAN project, which is strengthening the health care resources available to migrants, helping prevent communicable diseases (especially HIV and tuberculosis), and promoting health and well-being.
- Working in partnership with the Ministry of Education to implement sexuality education in schools and conduct other youth-focused activities.
- Developing model interventions that improve pharmacists’ capacity to provide information, products, and referrals.
PATH began working in Vietnam in the early 1980s and established an office in Hanoi in 1997. Our work there has spanned the fields of maternal and newborn health, child survival, immunization, adolescent health, reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and influenza. In addition, we have conducted research on a range of important health topics.
Our current work includes:
- Strengthening the capacity of private pharmacies to provide health services—and linking them into existing community health systems.
- Increasing access to existing tuberculosis and HIV services by strengthening the capacity of pharmacists to identify disease symptoms and make referrals.
- Improving the quality of medical abortion services, including postabortion family planning, at district-level public and private facilities.
- Assessing current vaccine supply chains to predict future challenges and create effective logistics systems for vaccine distribution.
- Creating an environment to implement a total market approach to enhancing equitable and sustained access to family planning services.
- Increasing coverage of timely hepatitis B birth-dose vaccinations by developing action plans to address adverse events following immunizations.
- Advancing technologies for the manufacture and future use of influenza vaccines.