Occasionally we host guest editorials for partners and colleagues from across the global health community, and the week of World Contraception Day 2014 is no different! Today we are delighted to host a guest piece from Marie Stopes International and 16-year-old Mi Aye from Myanmar.
Mi Aye: Taking control
16-year-old Mi Aye lives in a squatters’ quarter in Bago, Myanmar. Married at 13, she had her first child at 14. Here, as part of World Contraception Day 2014, she tells us how a visit from a Marie Stopes health worker allowed her to take control of her future.
My family is very poor. My mother is a vendor and my father does odd jobs – he works when there’s work and stays at home when there’s none. Growing up in a large family, there was never enough in our home and our family couldn’t find a way to solve this problem. I became a grown up at a very early age because I got married at just 13. To be honest, I’d never thought of the consequences that follow a marriage. Nobody told me about how you have children or how I could avoid getting pregnant, so of course, I got pregnant. I was ‘a child giving birth to a child’ because I was only 14. And afterwards I was really frightened about getting pregnant again but I didn’t know what to do to stop it.
World Contraception Day 2014: Contraception access and education
I must say I’m lucky because health workers from Marie Stopes visited us. I asked them what I could do to stop getting pregnant, and they told me about all these different things I could use. I wanted the contraception that goes in into the uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. When I said I couldn’t pay, they assured me that I could get it for free. It was like being thirsty and falling into a well. I don’t have to worry now. I can raise my child properly and do business to get money.
I think you have to plan properly to have a child. And thanks to Marie Stopes, we’ve been able to decide that we will only have another when we are ready.
Read more from Marie Stopes here.
The opinions expressed in guest blogs do not necessarily reflect those of DSW.