Where We Work


photo of a family

Afghanistan Facts

  • bar graph
    of households use appropriate water treatment
  • pregnant woman
    1 in 14
    women dies from either pregnancy or childbearing
  • baby
    1 in 18
    children dies before their fifth birthday

Afghanistan suffers from some of the worst health indicators in the world. While the country has reversed declining health trends, attention is still required to improve health outcomes for women and children.

SHOPS Plus supports the Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO), a leading non-governmental organization that promotes maternal and child health and family planning, in strengthening their impact and sustainability. The organization’s contribution to health in Afghanistan is significant. According to a SHOPS Plus analysis, about 22 percent of women using modern contraceptives used products marketed by ASMO. Additionally, between five and 20 percent of users purchased ASMO’s oral rehydration salts (ORS), water treatment solutions or iron supplement products. 

Using a total market approach, SHOPS Plus's activities are aimed at increasing the geographic availability of ASMO’s products and decreasing gender barriers to access, increasing the reach and cost effectiveness of ASMO’s marketing efforts, and strengthening ASMO’s internal processes and systems to make it a more attractive investment to donors. 

Highlights from the activity from December 2016 through May 2018:

  • Provided nearly 500,000 couple years of protection through contraceptive sales, supported the disinfection of over 124,000,000 liters of drinking water and treatment of over 450,000 diarrheal episodes. 
  • Aired over 2,500 TV and over 1,100 radio spots on maternal and child health and family planning to increase awareness of the benefits of using these products and dispelling myths associated with side effects. 
  • Conducted a reach and recall survey of ASMO’s TV and radio spots to customize and better reach target groups and improve health behaviors– the survey found that approximately 90 percent of the respondents recalled the ad.
  • Led two-part training on evidence-based research and on organizational sustainability in with buy-in from the Afghan Ministry of Public Health and USAID/Afghanistan. 
  • Launched three new products: iron folic acid tablets to address anemia in pregnant women in a new cost-efficient packaging, and two strengths of Aquatabs water purification tablets for household water treatment. 
  • Developed a tool to help the organization measure programs and prioritize action items to improve ASMO’s capacity. Implemented two rounds of the tool, demonstrating ASMO’s improvement from 2.12 to a 2.72 out of 3.7.

Relevant research:

Program Components



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.