USAID project educates the public about good health practices and promotes healthy behavior
22 JUNE 2011
Thirty years of war and civil strife has had a crippling effect on Afghanistan’s civil-society and health services, leading to some of the highest infant, child, and maternal mortality rates in the world. In 2002, Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health initiated strategic efforts to address the health needs of Afghan society, in order to rebuild Afghanistan’s public health services and infrastructure and to develop closer ties to the non-governmental organization community.
In support of national health goals and objectives, USAID introduced social marketing and behavior change communication to increase demand for, access to, and use of health products by women of reproductive age and children less than five years of age. The Afghan Social Marketing Organization, an Afghan-led non-governmental organization established in 2010 to sustain social marketing activities and safeguard the continued success of those efforts.
Current sales of socially-marketed health products have exceeded 50 million products since 2006. Health products, such as contraceptives (condoms, pills, and injection), oral rehydration salts, and water purification solution are distributed through more than 5,200 wholesale/retail outlets. Effective mass media communications, including broadcasts of more than 2,200 TV and 25,000 radio spots, and nearly 800,000 distributed print materials promoting informed, voluntary decision making about using family planning methods, have led to increases in the levels of awareness and current use of family planning and maternal and child health products among the target populations within Afghanistan. Annual sales of USAID-supported health products have increased 179 percent since 2006.
“In the past, it was difficult to find contraceptives in the marketplace. But now, the products are available all over Afghanistan, in any drugstore. Anyone who wants to use family planning methods and space between births, can easily access and use these products,” said Abdul Quddos, a farmer from Jalalabad.
Last updated: January 20, 2015