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Afghanistan – Factfile

Overview

The population in Afghanistan is approximately 29.1 million (2010) with an annual population growth rate is 3.2% as per UN statistics division.

The data from the Central Blood Bank Kabul indicates the detection of the first HIV positive case in Kabul in 1989. Between 1989 and 2005 the central blood bank reported a total of 67 HIV positive cases out of 125,832 blood samples screened at central and provincial levels for HIV through rapid testing kits. As of the end of 2009, 636 HIV-positive cases have been reported nationwide and the number of deaths due to AIDS was estimated to be fewer than ten. As of 2008, UNAIDS estimated the HIV prevalence among the general population in Afghanistan as below 0.5%.

Although still considered as low prevalent, vulnerability and risk factors are present; HIV epidemics among injecting drug users in four countries bordering Afghanistan (Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran); nearly three decades of war and five years of drought resulting in great decline in the population’s health, social and economic conditions; generally low levels of education and literacy; high levels of migration and mobility; massive production of illicit drugs and drug use; limited health and social infrastructures; and only half of the country’s donated blood units are screened for HIV in a quality-assured manner.

Sources:
[1] Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Ministry of Public Health. Afghanistan National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS (2006-2010). Final version, 2006
[2] National AIDS Control Program, UNGASS Country Progress Report: Afghanistan, Reporting Period: January 2008 to December 2009, March 2010
[3] UNAIDS, WHO. Report on the global AIDS epidemic. July 2008)- HIV and AIDS Data Hub for Asia Pacific.

Momentum for Integration Project

Initiatives by AFGA under Building Momentum for SRH HIV Integration project supported by EU:

Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA) is 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 is an accredited member of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in South Asia Region.

AFGA works mostly on following areas:

  • Provision of quality Reproductive Health services.
  • Provision of Adolescent Reproductive Health services and information.
  • HIV and AIDS prevention, Testing and Awareness activities.
  • Provision of family welfare information and services to reduce family based violence.

AFGA is implementing European Union funded project titled “Building Momentum for Reproductive Health (RH) and HIV Integration in Afghanistan”. The project aims to advocate for Reproductive Health and HIV integration in the operations of the CCM (Country Coordinating Mechanisms) of the Global Fund in Afghanistan, country health system and private sector.

  • AFGA in collaboration with Ministry of Public Health and other relevant stakeholders rolled out the Rapid Assessment Tool (RAT).Findings show national policy favors integration but at the system level there prevails a gap.  Basic levels of services for both SRH and HIV are provided at different service delivery points.
  • AFGA is presently targeting on strengthening of RH HIV integrated services in Basic Package of health services (BPHS) and Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS) health delivery system.
  • Approximately 200 participants including representatives from CSOs, youth groups, government departments and CCM members have been part of capacity building initiatives on integration, gender mainstreaming, finance management and proposal development which gave a  hands on experience in these functional areas.
  • A multi sector team at the national level has been formed to technically guide AFGA and other relevant stakeholders in taking forward the advocacy initiatives on integration.

Achievement:

  • AFGA has been instrumental for executing joint monitoring visits to BPHS /EPHS service delivery points along with MoPH (Ministry of Public Health). A total of 33 facilities have been visited. It gave a better idea of the quality of services particularly from an integrated perspective. It was found out that M&E checklist of MoPH does not have indicators to capture HIV relate services.
  • Regular  engagement with National M&E directorate, GCMU (Grant and Contract Management Unit), HMIS deportment, Provincial Public Health Directorates, BPHS/EPHS implementer organization and other relevant department of MoPH to strategically advocate on the issue of integration.
  • AFGA has been observer in CCM (Country Coordinating Mechanism) of Global Fund for past one year and have been attending meetings. In the current year, AFGA has been elected as one of the full fledged member of CCM with voting ability in CCM which will enable them to push the agenda of SRHHIV integration in the Global Fund proposals from Afghanistan.
  • AFGA on a regular basis is providing technical support to the Directorate of M&E and HMIS Dept on revising monitoring tools with a focus on indicators for HIV and to other relevant departments on the benefits of integrated approach to reproductive health and HIV.

 

Key Publications and Resources

Rapid assessment of sexual and reproductive health and HIV linkages: Afghanistan
This summary highlights the experiences, results and actions from the implementation of the Rapid Assessment Tool for Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Linkages in Afghanistan. (Expected to be published in 2013)
Year 2013| Authors: IPPF, UNAIDS, WHO, UNFPA

Contact

Dr. Waliullah Elham Programme Coordinator Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA) welham@afga.org.af

Susmita Choudhury Project Coordinator SRH HIV Integration International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Regional Office schoudhury@ippfsar.org

Pamir mountains, Afghanistan

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