Tattu Michael, age 20, only recently learned about contraception. As a young mother of three, married to an older man from her community in Tanzania, Tattu never imagined she could determine her own future through the power of family planning—until after she got pregnant for the third time.
“My husband comes from a tribe which believes having many kids is a pride to their community. I had to satisfy him by bearing many kids without knowing that my health is [jeopardized] due to poor birth spacing and I lacked information to understand all of that. My husband ended up marrying another young girl like me, which was a challenge [for our household],” says Tattu.
Then something happened that changed the way she viewed the world and her place in it. At the health center where Tattu delivered her third baby, she met a nurse, trained by EngenderHealth, whose counseling about sexual and reproductive health and rights empowered Tattu to make her own informed decisions.
Other women at the health center, who were either expecting a baby or had already given birth, joined in these family planning sessions with Tattu. Together, they began to understand the importance of family planning and the contraceptive choices that allow them the reproductive freedom every woman and girl deserves. Among all the contraceptive options, Tattu opted for a five-year implant, which she received within 24-hours of the birth of her baby. “I decided to use long-acting contraception after bearing many children at an early age. I chose a five-year implant to help me recover and stabilize my health,” shares Tattu. “I wish I knew earlier. I would have spaced my children better and remained healthier.”
Many women like Tattu, particularly young women in rural areas, lack access to contraceptive services to help them delay or space their births. Often, they are unaware of available options, believe in myths and misconceptions about modern contraception, or have no access to reproductive health counseling and services at a nearby care facility.
"I wish I knew earlier. I would have spaced my children better and remained healthier."
But with your help, all this is changing. EngenderHealth, its global partners, and committed donors are increasing access to contraceptive services by supporting public health facilities across Tanzania and elsewhere in the world—and in the process are expanding quality family planning programs that are making a lasting difference.