Rose Msambala comes from a family of five children. When she was very young, her father left her mother. Since Rose’s mother didn’t have much money, she couldn’t afford to send her children to school. Once Rose finished primary school, which is free in Tanzania, her education came to an end.
Rose, now a 30-year-old mother of two daughters, wants more for her children: “I want them to receive a proper education. I don’t want to have a large family I can’t afford to take care of,” she says.
About 10 minutes from where Rose lives in Magomeni, Dar es Salaam, is a private health center. One day, she heard that people were coming to the clinic to talk about family planning.
“At first, I was a bit scared. I had heard so many rumors about bad side effects from family planning methods,” says Rose. “But I went to the clinic anyway. There were a lot of women there.”
The staff at the clinic talked to the women about family planning and eased their concerns about side effects. Afterwards, they provided counseling sessions to the women who were interested in a long-acting and reversible contraceptive method, such as an IUD or implant.
That day, Rose chose to have an IUD inserted. “At first, I didn’t tell my husband because I thought he would want more kids. He just found out about it recently, and he was okay with my decision.”
Rose wants to keep using family planning for a few more years. Then she wants to have a third child.
“I feel better when I’m using family planning. I look at my daughters, and all I want is for them to be healthy and educated. I want them to grow up and have a better life,” she says. “I have hope.”
– By Jyoti Kulangara, Corporate Marketing & Communication, Washington, D.C., Dr. Mashafi, Medical Advisor, Reproductive Health team, PSI/Tanzania, Tanzania, and Gaston Shayo, Corporate Affairs, PSI/Tanzania, Tanzania