Health Services Support Project (HSSP)


The Health Services Support Project (HSSP) was a $62 million project that provided technical assistance and capacity-building support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) contracted by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to improve service delivery and the quality of basic health services in Afghanistan.  HSSP strengthened the MoPH’s ability to provide quality healthcare by: establishing a quality assurance (QA) system; increasing the number and performance of Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) providers, particularly women providers located in rural and underserved areas; improving behavior change communication; and, integrating gender awareness and practices into the BPHS.  Upon completion of the project, several activities were transferred to new USAID programs, including the Health Policy Project (HPP) and the Partnership Contracts for Health (PCH) programs.


  • Quality Assurance (QA): Institutionalized the QA process at all levels of the BPHS by identifying standards of care, assessing progress, guiding improvement in achieving standards, and recognizing the achievement of the standards.
  • Midwifery Education: Provided grants and technical assistance to hospital and community-based midwifery education programs to recruit, train, and deploy midwives.
  • Gender: Supported gender awareness and gender-based violence training and promote and integrate gender-sensitivity into quality assurance standards.
  • Media-Based Health Promotion: Promoted healthy behaviors through community mobilization.  Trained health professionals to provide behavior change communication through radio, television, posters, and brochures.
  • Maternal Mortality: Trained community health workers to provide misoprostol, a medication that protects against postpartum hemorrhage, to women who cannot give birth under the care of a doctor or midwife.
  • Clinical Skills: Provideed in-service trainings to BPHS health providers on topics such as: infection prevention; prevention of postpartum hemorrhage; laboratory skills; family planning; effective teaching skills; basic emergency obstetric care; newborn care; rational use of drugs; and, integrated management of childhood illnesses.


  • Developed national QA standards for improved service delivery in 14 priority areas of the BPHS, including family planning, antenatal care, postpartum care, and infection prevention.  Supported QA reward and recognition ceremonies at the central/provincial levels. 
  • Provided performance improvement training to over 17,000 healthcare workers from NGOs, health facilities, and the MoPH on both clinical and non-clinical topics.
  • Supported Afghanistan’s midwifery education system and awarded grants to NGOs to support the training of over 1,800 midwives.
  • Developed the Community Health Nursing Education Program.
  • Increased awareness and prevention of postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Supported the MoPH development of the National Health and Nutrition Communication Strategy for 2008-2013, as well as the National Gender Strategy for 2011-2015.

Last updated: September 30, 2013

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