Providing health services and products to rural women around the world

Rural women make up over a quarter of the world’s population but often lack access to quality health services. SHOPS Plus is working to increase their access to quality health products, services, and information through social and behavior change activities and other innovative approaches. Learn how we support rural women by targeting women’s groups and using market segmentation in Nepal,  mobile clinics in Madagascar, drug shops in Tanzania, and ensuring quality of products in Afghanistan.

Group  of women sitting outdoors learning about FP
SHOPS Plus and the Nepal CRS Company are reaching women in some of the most remote areas in the country.  | Photo credit: Bhawana Pokharel 

Using women’s groups to access Nepalese women in remote areas
The Nepal CRS Company, with support from SHOPS Plus, recently launched an initiative to disseminate important health messages in rural areas through women’s groups. The initiative is a community-based social and behavior change program that uses community change agents to promote good health. Read more.

Using market segmentation in Nepal to provide an affordable product to rural women
In addition, the team is working with the company to increase access to affordable family planning for rural women through a market segmentation strategy. The strategy gets users in higher income quintiles, primarily older women in urban areas, to pay for a commercially-priced brand of pills, which allows the company to cross-subsidize its lower-cost oral contraceptive pills for users with financial restrictions, which are primarily younger women in rural settings. Read more. 

SHOPS Plus staff crossing a river to reach clients for FP services
Poor infrastructure and road systems means the team often has to abandon the vehicle and walk to the remote areas in order to reach their clients. | Photo credit: SHOPS Plus

Midwives and mobile clinics reach women in rural Madagascar

The project uses mobile clinics to provide a range of contraceptive methods to women in the most difficult-to-reach areas of Madagascar. Each mobile team consists of a doctor, a midwife, and a driver. They travel around the country in a vehicle equipped with an examination table, family planning products, supplies, and equipment for the prevention of infections. Read more.

Providing quality health care products to rural populations in Tanzania
Through Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets  in Tanzania, SHOPS Plus is improving the quality and sustainability of these outlets that are the first entry point into the health system for 75% of the country’s rural population. 

SHOPS Plus staff doing a training with an ADDO owner in her shop.
ADDO owner receives training from SHOPS Plus staff at her drug shop in Tanzania.| Credit: Christina Kramer

“Every Tanzanian woman and girl lives five kilometers from an ADDO,” said Maureen Ogada-Ndekana, SHOPS Plus Chief of Party for Tanzania. “These platforms have moved health commodities and services closer to women in Tanzania allowing them to access information, services and referral for primary health care.” Read more. 

Giving mothers in Afghanistan confidence in their iron supplements by updating packaging 
Findings from a 2010-2011 government report suggested that anemia among pregnant women is prevalent in rural areas at 17 percent. To make sure that pregnant women were using the Afghan Social Marketing Organization branded product—a legitimate source of iron supplementation—the SHOPS Plus project and organization worked together to procure products that would be available in blister packs, which are harder to counterfeit than commodities packaged in bottles. Read more.

Follow the conversation online using #InternationalDayofRuralWomen.



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.

Sign-up for our newsletter to get the latest updates from SHOPS Plus