A Valentine’s Day to Remember
On a busy day at the Char Mya Thar Si clinic in Myanmar, dozens of clients took control of their future with contraception.
The team at the Char Mya Thar Si clinic in Myanmar had braced themselves for a busy day. Not only was it a Friday, one of the center’s most popular days, it was also the full moon festival, when people often took advantage of the holiday to visit the clinic. What they didn’t know was that satisfied IUD client Daw Thein Nu was on her way back - and she was bringing a couple of friends.
Daw Thein Nu had first encountered MSI Myanmar (MSIM), when a mobile outreach team was sent to her village to teach the community about different contraceptive methods. Having given birth five times and having lost one child in infancy, she wanted to take up a long-acting method and came to the centre for an IUD.
Since then, she had been extolling the benefits of family planning and having seen two women in her village die from untreated cervical cancer was keen to make sure her friends and family got themselves screened. So on February 14th, Daw Thein Nu rented three trucks to take 64 of her fellow female villagers from their village to the center.
Working with just one nurse, one lab technician, and a handful of sexual and reproductive health promoters, Dr. Shwe Sabai Thein was able to provide numerous long-acting and short-term methods, contraceptive counselling and cervical cancer screening to all eligible villagers. In addition, the center served another 30 clients who just happened to stop by the clinic.
And the day wasn’t over yet. The team had already arranged to provide mobile outreach in the local slum community in the afternoon and before the sun had set they had provided another 27 clients with individual contraceptive counselling, short-term methods and referrals to the center, bringing the total to close to 130 clients served in one day, compared to their usual 25.
Despite having to cancel her own Valentine’s Day plans, for Mandalay resident Dr. Shwe Sabai Thein, the day exemplified the very reason she joined MSIM almost two years ago: to provide services to clients who needed them most. And what were the team’s plans for the next day? Another health education talk and condom demonstration, of course. February 14 comes once a year, but the need for MSIM’s life-changing services - that’s year round.
This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of reproductive choice to women like Daw Thein Nu. Your gift to MSI-US helps us continue our work in 37 countries across the world, including Myanmar. Learn more about the different ways to give to MSI-US and discover how you can make a difference.