Alma is 27 but has already been pregnant seven times – only four of her children are alive now. She was excited to hear about a WINGS mobile clinic in her area and told her husband she’d like to get a tubal ligation. Her husband was firmly against it: he insisted that they should keep having children in the hope that more would survive to take care of them in their old age. Alma was really upset by his reaction, she explained that childbirth had been a dangerous and painful experience for her and she was afraid to go through it again. She also told him they could care better for their existing four children if they planned to focus on supporting them - they were already going hungry. Despite these reasons, he refused to support her.
Tired of being dominated by her alcoholic husband, Alma decided to take charge of her body and got the tubal ligation on her own. She is deeply grateful to WINGS’ donors for lowering the cost of the operation so she was able to afford it alone. Alma continues to work in a tortilla store in her local market, and feels a weight off her mind to know she won’t go through another agonizing pregnancy.
Amanda’s sister persuaded her to tag along to a WINGS clinic in their community near Patzun. Despite being sexually active since marrying six years ago, 27-year old Amanda had never thought to get a cervical cancer test. At the WINGS’ mobile clinic she listened to a short talk explaining what cervical cancer is, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment and decided to get tested. She was pleased that the Via/Cryo techniques WINGS uses produce immediate results and same-day treatment if necessary. As this was all very new to her, Amanda was utterly shocked to learn that she had pre-cancerous cells. Our nurse and educator, Flori, explained the need for urgent treatment and Amanda opted for cryotherapy to tackle the cancer that very afternoon. This treatment has a success rate of 85-90% and Amanda’s experience was no exception. She is now healthy and plans to attend regular checkups in the future with her sister.
WINGS' Nurse Flori (who treated Amanda) commented that, “for numerous economic and cultural reasons it can be hard to get women out of the house and into our mobile clinics. It’s important that they are educated in the risks they face and in how to seek reliable testing and treatment”.
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!”