Save a Mom's Life in the Congo

by International Medical Corps
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo
Save a Mom's Life in the Congo

Project Report | Nov 15, 2013
Mama Sammy's Story

By Jason Graber | Resource Development Officer

Mama Sammy and one of her children
Mama Sammy and one of her children

International Medical Corps prioritizes reproductive health services and family planning in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gynecological and obstetric care is especially important in this area where 98% of all obstetric complications result from either sub-par medical care or rape. By increasing the quality and availability of reproductive and maternal health care, as well as the uptake of these services, International Medical Corps has significantly improved long-term health outcomes for women and children in DRC. Our goal is to save the lives of mothers by providing the care they need before a medical emergency arises.

Safe Motherhood through CycleBeads: 

Faida, also known as Mama Sammy, is 25 years old and has been married to her husband Sammy since 2010. She lives in the village of Kabusa, located in the Walikale territory in Eastern DRC.  Over the course of two years, she suffered a devastating loss after experiencing two miscarriages. The suspected cause was poor spacing between her pregnancies. This is her story:

I gave birth to a baby and got pregnant after three months. As I was trying to keep the pregnancy and take care of the child, the first one passed away. I also miscarried the second one ... I was astonished and stressed because I could not understand the situation.

I discussed with my husband who was also concerned about the loss of our two babies and was worried about the opinion of the community. We decided to try to avoid frequent pregnancies, but my husband never wanted medications or any chemicals. So, we tried the natural way on our own but with many worries because we had no tools for counting.

I convinced my husband to consult the medical Director of Kabusa Health Clinic and follow prenatal consultation as advised by my mother because she trusted the midwife trained at Kabusa. 

We luckily meet Mr. Ngoko Lipanda Andree, the medical director of the clinic. He explained to us several methods of family planning that we could use to avoid the risks of death of the child and the mother. One of these options was CycleBeads® which my husband really liked. It was a natural option we both appreciated.

Since we started using the method we have never experienced unwanted pregnancies.

We now enjoy life with our 1 year and 3 month old baby without any more worries.”

Note on CycleBeads® and The Standard Days Method®:  

"The Standard Days Method® is a fertility awareness-based family planning method that identifies a fixed fertile window for women with cycles that are between 26 and 32 days long. For women with cycles in this range, the method identifies days 8 through 19 as potentially fertile days. A user simply tracks the start date of her period and the days of her cycle to know if she is on a day when pregnancy is possible or not.

Researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University developed this family planning method and tested it in large-scale clinical trials. It is proven to be more than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy and with the right tools, is very easy to use.

If a woman wants to prevent pregnancy using this family planning method, then she should avoid intercourse or use a back-up birth control method such as condoms during her fertile days (days 8-19). The patented CycleBeads® tools help a woman use this method by tracking her cycle, identifying her fertile and non-fertile days based on when her period started, and confirming that her cycles are in range for effective use of this family planning method. (Source:"


Family planning training in Walikale, DRC
Family planning training in Walikale, DRC
Health care worker with child holding CycleBeads
Health care worker with child holding CycleBeads
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Organization Information

International Medical Corps

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Project Leader:
Development Office
Los Angeles , CA United States

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