Cristina, 23, has two children. She explains why she came to receive Jadelle (a 5-year reversible contraceptive implant), subsidized by ALAS, at a recent APROFAM mobile clinic with her sister-in-law, Josefina, 21.
“We’d heard people say bad things about family planning methods – that they damage your babies, put stains on their skin - but Ester, the educator from WINGS, explained to us how they really work and we decided to go for it. She went through all the possible methods, and I thought about it with my husband. We felt that Jadelle would be the most convenient for our family because knowing you have that security for 5 years is great. We were really excited when we heard the price through WINGS, normally this would be too expensive for us.
This can really change things for my family, especially for my babies! My husband is a builder and sometimes he just can’t work for days because of the rain. With family planning our children won’t have to suffer when that happens, we can have some stability. I have 6 brothers and sisters and while my older siblings were growing up we had nothing because my parents were trying to build our house - my two sisters didn’t even get to go to school. I don’t want my children to suffer the same way, I want to support them all equally. That’s why it’s great that with this method we can plan and take things slowly.
Right now I stay at home to breastfeed and to be with my babies, but I want to find work in a year or two when they are a bit older. That way I can bring some money home, and well, sometimes it’s good to get out of the house too!”
Maria Antonia, 44, has had 14 pregnancies, including three miscarriages, and has nine living children.
She came to WINGS after having waited three months in vain for Pap smear results from her local health clinic. When she heard that WINGS was conducting screenings with same-day results, she decided to get tested again. It is lucky she did, as the results showed that she had cervical cancer. Within twenty-four hours, WINGS’ cervical cancer nurse brought Maria to a hospital for radiotherapy treatment. Now Maria looks forward to sharing her story with other women in her community so that they understand the risks of cervical cancer and decide to get screened.
WINGS Family Planning educator, Evelyn Roquel provides vital private counselling for women interested in using a contraceptive method to ensure they are fully aware of their options. Here, Angelina, a WINGS beneficiary who was able to receive a voluntary tubal ligation after WINGS came to her remote community, speaks about her initial reservations about the operation and its significance to her:
"I heard about the mobile clinic at a talk the lady from WINGS gave in San Juanita. I approached her that day to say I had some concerns about the operation and she wrote my name down. Later, she came to see me in my home where I explained to her that I wanted to have a tubal ligation but that I was really worried about what to do with my kids after the operation – my baby girl is still young, and I already have 7 kids. She told me there was no problem because I only had to take it easy for a few days. That put my mind at rest – you see, sometimes there’s no food or work so [Angela appears anxious]... If she hadn’t explained to me how the operation works I don’t think I would have done it.
These family planning operations for men and women are great for us, our families, and for our communities. I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart because people came all the way out to here in San Juan la Laguna so that we women could have good healthcare. Thank you."