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Mariam: The Power to Plan Her Family

With a smile that exposes a tiny coveted tooth gap characteristic of East African women, 30-year-old Mariam Omari finds it difficult to hide her joy: She is excited to become a mother, once again.

Mariam is at Magugu Health Center in Tanzania to have her contraceptive implants removed. It has been 11 years since her last pregnancy, and Mariam and her husband, John, 36, now want a third child. The couple has two children-a daughter, 13, and son, 11.

"Waiting to have another child gave me time to keep focused on my business of selling rice to help support my family," Mariam said. "Because of family planning, we have been able to take care for our two children and send them both to school."

For John, family planning has helped him balance the demands of his work as a rice farmer with raising two small children.

"Now that our children are older, we're ready to fulfill our dream of having a family with more children," he said, while tilling a field of rice under the blistering afternoon sun.

Mariam first received her implants at the clinic after being counseled by Agness Minja, an EngenderHealth-trained family planning provider, whom Mariam describes as charming, knowledgeable, and empathetic.

The couple was able to plan their future because of the high-quality services offered at Magugu Health Center, one of more than 4,000 health sites in Tanzania that EngenderHealth supported through our longstanding partnership with the government.

With support from the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, EngenderHealth's ACQUIRE Tanzania Project (ATP) helped train providers to offer quality reproductive health services for short- and long-term family planning, maternal health, and HIV.

EngenderHealth also assisted the facility with supplies, medicine, and physical renovations that improve efficiency and ensure patient privacy and comfort.

In addition to improving services, EngenderHealth engages communities across Tanzania to understand the benefits of good health and pushes for strong government policies that promote better health services. Together, these efforts help thousands of women like Mariam get the health care they need to plan and create better futures for their families.

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