To talk about our work in Afghanistan, write to our London support office or phone/email our team in Afghanistan.
Looking for services in Afghanistan? Use the contacts below to speak with our advisers.
Throughout our history, we have taken services to women living in some of the world’s most challenging environments. The need for our services in Afghanistan was too great to ignore.
Despite significant progress in many areas over the last years, Afghanistan continues to experience high levels of political instability and a deteriorating security situation. The country is at a key point in its transition from dependency on international aid and support, to increased self-sustainability.
As the country continues to struggle, it is women who pay the highest price - Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
The majority of these women die from being too young to give birth or not giving their bodies enough time to recover between births. The loss of lives continues as most women are married too early and receive little or no information about contraception. In many cases, the decision about a woman’s reproductive health is made by her husband.
Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Marie Stopes Afghanistan was established in 2002, the year in which the first post-Taliban Government was constituted. Today, the programme is one of the largest providers of family planning services in the country, especially in providing long-acting and permanent contraception.
Currently, we operate 11 centres across five provinces, through which all-female staff offer a comprehensive range of services, including contraception and post-abortion care. We also work with public health sector staff, delivering services through eight public hospitals.
Despite the insecure environment, we cover most of the country's provinces through more than 200 Marie Stopes Ladies, 16 mobile outreach teams that take services to women living in urban slums and some hard-to-reach rural areas, and social marketing.
Reproductive health is a priority in Afghanistan’s national development strategy and we collaborate closely with the Ministry of Public Health as well as work in partnership with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the National Parliament.
In Afghanistan, we engage with religious leaders and their wives to show that family planning is compatible with Islamic teachings. These leaders are trusted and have high standing in their local community, so they help a great deal with reaching women and men with crucial information about birth spacing, early age pregnancy, child health information and services.
This approach has proven to be incredibly successful; in 2015 an estimated 30% of clients were referred through religious leaders or religious leaders' wives. The approach helps increase community acceptance and support for our services and strengthens our relationship with the Government.