Celebrating 100 million clients served!

JUNE 24, 2015: Today we celebrate reaching our 100 millionth client. Since MSI was founded almost 40 years ago, we’ve reached women around the world in the 37 countries where we work.

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JUNE 24, 2015: Today we celebrate reaching our 100 millionth client. Since MSI was founded almost 40 years ago, we’ve reached women around the world in the 37 countries where we work.

At MSI United States, we are grateful for both our dedicated team members who work tirelessly to ensure that all women have children by choice, not chance as well as our supporters who help us continue this important work.

We don’t know exactly who our 100 millionth client is, but we do know every client has her own unique story. Here are just a few:

Zainabu lives in Sierra Leone with her husband and nine children. They’re proud of their large family and until recently, they were among the 80% of couples in this country who’d never used a modern method of contraception. Large families are common, but the risks are high. One in eight women in Sierra Leone dies during pregnancy and childbirth.

Women like Zainabu are all too aware of the dangers. “I want to stop. Giving birth can be dangerous” she told us. News of the death of a local woman in childbirth worried her. This concern for her health, together with the financial pressures of a large family, led Zainabu to find out about family planning for the first time.

“By stopping having children, we’ll be able to give all our attention to the ones we have.”

Two thirds of the population of Sierra Leone live in rural areas, where access to even basic health services can be limited. Zainabu is fortunate though; each month a MS Sierra Leone outreach team visits her village to provide access to life-changing family planningservices.

On one of these visits, Zainabu approached the team and they counselled her on a range of modern family planning methods, including condoms, the pill and long-acting and permanent methods. With this knowledge, she made a life-changing decision and chose a tubal ligation. The procedure took just 25 minutes and was performed under a local anesthetic. After the procedure, she shared her relief: “I’m very happy it’s done. It’s over now. I didn’t feel it. I’m very happy. I’m going to be fine now.”

Zainabu is one of the lucky ones. Millions of women still do not have access to modern contraception and continue to die unnecessarily as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.

Zainabu holding her child

Jahanara

Jahanara is 30 and lives in a slum area of Dhaka. She was married at 12 years old and had the first of her seven children shortly after. She didn’t know anything about family planning back then. “If we’d been educated we would have used birth control.”

Bringing up seven children has taken its toll. Jahanara gets up early every day to cook then goes to six different cleaning jobs across the city. “My health has been damaged and having so many babies has worn me out. I have no strength left.”

Jahanara’s tough situation became worse after her husband died. Unable to cope financially and provide for all her children she was forced to send two of her young daughters away to work as maids – she hasn’t seen them since.

Jahanara wants to make sure her 16-year-old daughter doesn’t have the same life so she’s urging her to delay marriage and children.

Outreach vehicle in Timor Leste

Marciana is 38 and has eight children. She lives in a remote mountain village in Timor Leste, about six hours drive from the capital Dili and the nearest hospital. After miscarrying her ninth child she worried about what might happen if she fell pregnant again.

Marciana had never had access to family planning, so when she heard that one of the outreach teams run by MSI’s Timor Leste program was coming to the village of Atsabe near her home she decided to find out what options were available to her. The outreach team had recently begun working in the area with the support of SUCO (the Ministry of Health) and one of the team explained all of the options available to her. Marciana decided to have an IUD inserted.

However, during Marciana’s examination, a member of the MSI outreach team immediately realized that the miscarriage wasn’t complete. The fetus was stuck in Marciana’s cervix and she was bleeding heavily. Marciana hadn’t realized this because all the blood was blocked from escaping by the stuck fetus. If this had not been treated immediately infection would have set in and Marciana would almost certainly have died.

Fernanda, an MSI outreach team worker, immediately gave Marciana an injection to help stop the bleeding and delivered the fetus. Once Marciana was clean and comfortable, Fernanda safely inserted the IUD and gave Marciana antibiotics to take home with her. The outreach team then drove Marciana home so she would not have to walk several miles.

Every day MSI teams around the world are providing lifesaving services to women like Marciana.

Khadeja

Just a few miles across the city from where Jahanara lives, Khadeja’s life is very different. She is 28 and lives with her husband, son and mother-in-law.

Khadeja and her husband decided to wait for a year after marrying to start a family. She was able to get the pill from a family planning clinic run by Marie Stopes International in the factory where she works.

When Khadeja returned to work after having her son she was able to discuss contraception options with one of our nurses again.

Khadeja and her husband have a good quality of life today, and are able to plan for their family’s future. “Without the pill we’d have had lots of children by now and it would have been impossible for my husband to support us. Our family is small but we are happy.”

Our Global Impact Last Year

32million

women using a MSI
method of contraception

13million

unintended pregnancies
prevented

6.5million

unsafe abortions prevented

34,600

pregnancy-related deaths prevented