Identifying opportunities to increase uptake of primary health products

The Ministry of Public Health continues its extensive support to social marketing programs and looks forward to working with its partners USAID, SHOPS Plus, and ASMO in engaging the private health sector to realize national health objectives. ”
– Dr. Ahmad Jan Naeem, Deputy Minister for Planning and Policy, MoPH, Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Afghan Social Marketing Organization plays a critical role in enabling more women to use contraceptives in Afghanistan. Through analyzing Demographic and Health Survey data, SHOPS Plus found that the organization contributes to 22 percent of the country’s modern family planning method use.

The executive director of ASMO speaks at the market segmentation event in August 2017.
The executive director of ASMO speaks at a market segmentation event in August 2017. | Credit: ASMO

Following the release of the survey data in February 2017, SHOPS Plus partner Avenir Health conducted a market segmentation analysis using the updated DHS to identify and prioritize population segments most likely to adopt family planning and maternal and child health products and services. The team looked at the market in the public and private sectors using a total market approach. SHOPS Plus recommended strategies that could improve effectiveness of programming.

Key findings in family planning and maternal and child health included:

  • ASMO contributes to 22 percent of Afghanistan’s modern family planning method use, which prevented an estimated 253,000 unintended pregnancies from 2011 to 2015.
  • More than 60 percent of married women are not currently using a family planning method and do not intend to use one in the future because they lack support from their spouse and other family members, they believe that family planning is prohibited in their religion, or have concerns about the health effects of the methods. 
  • Women who are most likely to adopt family planning are young (20–25 years old), have recently given birth, want to wait for some time before their next pregnancy, and live in Balkh, Faryab, Herat, Kabul, Kandahar, or Takhar provinces.  
  • Product and service delivery strategies need to be refined to better serve rural, lower-income couples who wish to use condoms and young couples who wish to use injectables and long-acting reversible methods for birth spacing.
  • Though 60 percent of children received ORS, only 13 percent received zinc.
    Among women who received antenatal care, 60 percent received iron supplements; however, very few women took them for the recommended duration. 

In addition, the findings included ASMO’s share of the market in family planning and maternal and child health products, as shown in the following infographic. 

Key statistics from the Afghanistan market segmentation analysis: The statistics are as follows: 14% of condom users use Asodagi, 34% of pill users use Khoshi, 32% of all injectable users use Khoshi, 22% contribution to mCPR, 253,000 unintended pregnancies averted, and 621 maternal deaths averted.

SHOPS Plus shared the findings from the study with key stakeholders in Kabul on August 8, 2017, in collaboration with ASMO and the Ministry of Public Health. The stakeholders validated the findings and gave feedback on the recommendations.

This analysis provides the ministry with solid evidence for developing strategies to improve the health of mothers and children.” 
– Dr. Bashir Noormal, Director General Afghanistan Public Health Institute-MoPH.

At the ministry’s request, SHOPS Plus organized a consultative workshop for the ministry’s Family Planning, Maternal and Neonatal Child Health Technical Working Group. Participants confirmed the conclusions of the analysis and recommended developing a policy brief to help shape future programming.

View the presentations:


Technical Area



Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.