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Kabul

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OVERVIEW

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit | edit source]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

In Afghanistan, oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are technically available over-the-counter (i.e. no prescription required).[1][2] However, the reality is that birth control pills can be hard to find. According to one local contributor: "There is almost no access for local women to contraceptives other than condoms. It is possible to get a prescription for combined oral contraceptive pills, but the quality is not comparable to the assortment of pills in Western countries. There are NGOs in the country providing contraceptives of all kinds in Afghanistan, but not all local women have access to these NGOs." You can visit the bottom of this page ("Additional Resources") for a list of NGOs to contact.

Generally speaking, Afghanistan has a high fertility rate and maternal mortality rate. Nearly one in ten Afghan women give birth as an adolescent, and the country's fertility rate is five children per woman, according to 2014 data. Furthermore, nearly 18% of all deaths of women of childbearing age are due to pregnancy-related causes. These high numbers can be attributed to many factors, including lack of sex education and general education, lack of contraceptive access, and inadequate skills or training among health care staff.[3]

According to a 2015 UN report, it was found that about 29% of Afghan women (who are of reproductive age and married/in unions) use some form of contraception, including traditional methods, and about 27% of women have unmet family planning needs. This rate is much lower than the average rate of contraceptive use in Southern Asia, where about 57% of women use contraceptives, or Western Asia, where about 58% of women use contraceptives. In Afghanistan, the most commonly used birth control method is contraceptive injectables, which are used by about 12% of Afghan women, and birth control pills, which are used by almost 7% of women. There are very low rates of usage for all other forms of contraceptives, including traditional methods (3.8%), condoms (1.6%), IUDs (1.5%), withdrawal (1.5%), contraceptive implants (1%) and female sterilization (0.7%).[4]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

  • Marie Stopes Afghanistan: "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." Looking for services in Afghanistan? Use the contacts below to speak with our advisers. Call centre: +93 075 2220 000 or 075 2025 900 / Psycho-social call centre: +93 0799 67 87 77
  • There is a reported problem of counterfeit drugs, which may be dangerous or ineffective.[5] For this reason, it is recommended that you try to visit pharmacies that are more widely trusted. One example is 768 Pharmacy[6], which is a pharmacy chain in Afghanistan with multiple locations. You can also visit pharmacies at hospitals, such as the American Medical Center.

Costs[edit | edit source]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit | edit source]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

In Afghanistan, no emergency contraceptive pills are registered for usage. However, it is reportedly legal to import emergency contraceptive pills through licensing. While there are no emergency contraceptive pills procured through the government, they may be available through certain NGOs or programs affiliated with the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.[7]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

  • It may be difficult to access dedicated emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) in Afghanistan. However, you can try to use regular oral contraceptives (birth control pills) as replacement ECPs. To do this, you can take Stediril-d (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later).[8] For updated information on how to use birth control pills as replacement ECPs in Afghanistan, please visit the Princeton EC Website.
  • From one local: "In Kabul, there are several international clinics and hospitals, mainly treating expats and providing Western contraceptives, such as the morning after pill. There is no such service accessible for local women." (October 2017)

Costs[edit | edit source]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit | edit source]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

In 2018, it was found that 7200 children and adults were living with HIV in Afghanistan, which was less than 0.1% of the population. A large percentage of Afghan people with HIV are not receiving treatment; it was found that only about 13% of children and adults with HIV were receiving anti-retroviral therapy in 2018.[9]

Testing Facilities[edit | edit source]

Support[edit | edit source]

Costs[edit | edit source]

Medications & Vaccines[edit | edit source]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

Costs[edit | edit source]

Menstruation[edit | edit source]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

Costs[edit | edit source]

Gynecological Exams[edit | edit source]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

Most upper middle-class Afghan women tend to get a visa to either Pakistan or India to get their gynecological treatment, as they do not trust the Afghan medical facilities and doctors.

Costs[edit | edit source]

Pregnancy[edit | edit source]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

Costs[edit | edit source]

Abortion[edit | edit source]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

In Afghanistan, abortion is not available upon request. However, it is legally permitted to save the life of the pregnant person.[10] [11] To learn more, you can read the Afghan Penal Code for details.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

  • "Misoprostol is on the list of National essential medicines list of Afghanistan. However misoprostol availability and brandname are unknown. Please go to www.womenonweb.org to obtain abortion pills." - Women on Waves[12]
  • Jhpiego: E-mail: info@jhpiego.org
  • Marie Stopes Afghanistan: "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." Looking for services in Afghanistan? Use the contacts below to speak with our advisers. Call centre: +93 075 2220 000 or 075 2025 900 / Psycho-social call centre: +93 0799 67 87 77

Costs[edit | edit source]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit | edit source]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit | edit source]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit | edit source]

  • Police: Call 102
  • Ambulance: Call 103
  • Women's Protection Centers: "Recognizing that women and girls who seek our Family Guidance Center services are often escaping life-threatening and dangerous situations at home, WAW created Women’s Protection Centers (WPCs) (also known as women’s shelters) to provide confidential, safe shelter to protect endangered clients until their cases are resolved. WAW’s WPCs provide women and girls whose lives have been threatened or who have suffered violence and abuse with safe haven and support services while they are under WAW’s protective care. The goal of WAW’s WPC is to improve the overall well-being and future life outcomes of women and girls who are survivors of human rights abuses or gender-based violence." Since 2007, WAW has successfully built 12 WPCs in 11 provinces, directly transforming the lives of thousands of women and girls in Afghanistan. Afghanistan Office: Noor Mohammad Taraki Street, Police District #3, Kabul, Afghanistan, Tel: +(93) 728-859-560
  • Women Protection center, Kabul: "The women protection center provides all the necessities of life including health, educational and sport facilities. Empowering women legally and economically is another objective of the project. Due to the successful implementation of this project in 2015, HAWCA provided protection services to 199 women and 71children. Out of these cases, 105 were resolved through court and mediation. The remaining cases are followed in 2016."
  • Legal Aid centers for Women Victims of Violence Mazar: "he legal aid center in Mazar is one of our centers that help women victims of violence." They provide legal, medical, literacy, training, and advocacy services.
  • Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA): "Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA) was established in January 1999 by a group of youth Afghan women and men. HAWCA's establishment was motivated by the despair and devastation suffered by Afghan women and children as victims of war and injustice in Afghanistan and as refugees in Pakistan. Living under the same conditions and experiencing the same misery as millions of Afghans in Afghanistan and in Pakistan during the civil war, the leading members of HAWCA committed to achieving their aims and objectives as volunteers, and devoted their efforts to improving the lives of Afghans under difficult circumstances, from the era of Taliban domination to today's insecure Afghanistan."

Costs[edit | edit source]

List of Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Ministry of Health
  • Afghan Family Guidance Association: "Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA) is an Afghan non-governmental, not-for-profit and non-political organization established in 1968. AFGA has been working in the field of Reproductive health and Rights since its inception and has recently become an associate member of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). AFGA activities were suspended due to war and conflict in the country for ten years (1992-2002) and resumed its activities in 2002 with financial support from International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). IPPF is an alliance of 151 family planning associations known as Member Associations which has projects in over 180 countries. IPPF continues to be the largest civil society provider of reproductive health information and services in the world."
  • Family Planning 2020 - Afghanistan: "Afghanistan has finalized its Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent (RMNCAH) strategy as well as the Costed Implementation Plan (2018-2022) for family planning. Afghanistan has made strides since making its first FP2020 commitment in 2016 by increasing the number of public health facilities offering family planning and expanding contraceptive choice..."
  • International Medical Corps Afghanistan
  • Doctors without Borders Afghanistan
  • CARE Afghanistan
  • AHEAD Afghanistan: "AHEAD was established by a group of experienced, professional and dedicated social workers in Afghanistan in 2008, and was registered under license number 1259 with the Ministry of Economy of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."
  • Click here to learn about LGBT-related laws in Afghanistan. Be aware that homosexuality is illegal.

References[edit | edit source]