By Jenny Tolep, External Relations & Communications
“Each child is beautiful,” says Ingrid, a mother in Guatemala City. “But when one gets sick, sometimes you don’t have what you need to take care of them. Sometimes there’s not even enough bread or water to give them.”
With seven children already, Ingrid could not provide for anymore. She had used contraception before, but the options she knew of were limited. Those she tried caused side effects, and she got pregnant again and again.
Ingrid’s life changed when she saw a flyer for a clinic health day in her neighborhood organized by Pan-American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), PSI’s network member in Central America.
At the clinic health day, counselors informed Ingrid about her contraceptive options, such as oral contraception pills, implants and IUDs. She chose the IUD. For the first time, Ingrid had found contraception that worked for her. She now passes on knowledge about family planning options to her loved ones.
In the developing world, more than 220 million women and girls lack access to the modern contraception they desire. As a result, every year there are more than 70 million unintended pregnancies, and every day more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
PASMO is a social marketing organization that works to improve the health of vulnerable populations in Central America. When first founded in 1997, PASMO focused on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, but has since expanded to offer youth education activities, voluntary counseling and testing and family planning services. Providing access to a range of modern methods of contraception allows women the opportunity to control their own fertility and plan for the families they want. This can improve chances of child survival and increase a woman’s access to education and employment opportunities. PASMO offers various contraception such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants and oral contraception pills.
Currently, more than 75,000 individuals in Central America have received services from PASMO and the organization has trained more than 850 health workers.
Feel free to download this picture of Ingrid as your desktop wallpaper or screensaver.
Photo Credit: Rita Villanueva