Promoting Family Planning and Maternal and Child Health through Beauty Parlors in Afghanistan

Marianne El-Khoury , Abt Associates
Tess Shiras, Abt Associates
Soumitra Gosh, Abt Associates

Access to family planning (FP) information and services is limited in high fertility, conflict settings such as Afghanistan. Access is particularly challenging for women, whose mobility is further limited by social and cultural factors. Given these constraints, we are implementing an innovative pilot in Kabul training beauty parlor staff to deliver information on FP and maternal and child health (MCH) to their female clients. The purpose of the intervention is to reduce key barriers that Afghan women face in accessing health information, products and services. A mixed-method study with a randomized controlled trial design seeks to assess the feasibility of the pilot model and estimate the impact of the intervention on desired outcomes. This paper presents findings from the pre-intervention quantitative survey of parlor clients to understand baseline knowledge, attitudes, and health practices. It also presents qualitative findings on initial successes and challenges of the pilot intervention.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1