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Zainabu's Decision
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Zainabu's Decision
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The Edge of Joy
Contraceptives are difficult to get hold off in rural Sierra Leone. As a result, many young couples end up with more children than they can take care of, a strain on both the family's budget and the mother's health. But a new program is teaching young mothers about family planning and providing free birth control.
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Produced by Marie Stopes International.

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Segment 1

TITLE
Zainabu's decision
VOICEOVER
Sierra Leone, in West Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Here, pregnancy and childbirth claim the lives of thousands of women every year. In rural areas, girls get married young and traditionally have lots of children, like farmer's wife Zainabu.
ZAINABU KARGBO
I have given birth to ten children. One died, so I am left with nine. Here, we are happy to have a lot of children. But everything is difficult, especially when you have a lot of children. It's hard but we have to be strong. We work hard to feed our children and to pay for them to go to school. It is not an easy life.
SULLAY KARGBO
I love my children. We are a family. We play and laugh. Sometimes they help me on the farm. I'm too young to have so many, but here it earns me respect. We have too many children. They want to eat and eat, but I don't have the money. How can I be a good father to them if I can't give them everything they need? It's a problem.
VOICEOVER
Aside from the financial costs of parenthood, in Sierra Leone one pregnancy in every eight results in the death of the mother.
WOMAN
Did you hear about the lady from Mafullah? They said the baby was okay, but she died. And now, Bai Bai's wife is having a tough time and the baby still hasn't come.
ZAINABU KARGBO
Oh God! It makes me think. I can't go through all that again.
ZAINABU KARGBO
I've never used any kind of birth control, let alone gone to the hospital for it. I want to have a rest from having children, so I've decided to go and find out about family planning.
WOMAN
If you want family planning, today is the day! Marie Stopes has brought family planning to your door.
VOICEOVER
Zainabu's community is fortunate. Every month an outreach team comes to town to provide contraception. While Zainabu is seriously considering birth control, the men in the village are struggling with old superstitions.
SULLAY KARGBO
What do you think about family planning?
MAN 1
Family planning? I think it's good but I am also worried about it. My wife had a treatment and after that she became very thin. No one can tell me why.
MAN 2
It's good that we have this service. But now my wife is fat and looking good. What if she uses this and then gets thin? People will laugh at us and say I cannot feed my wife.
SULLAY KARGBO
When women go to family planning, they are no longer afraid to flirt. That's why some men don't like it. They think, now that they can't get pregnant, their wives will do what they like. But if my wife wants to use family planning, I guess I'll have to trust her. She told me she wants to go for it. We do have enough children. So I've said: "No problem, I agree with you."
ZAINABU KARGBO
I've heard family planning suits some women but not others. I wonder if it will work for me. But I don't want any more children.
WOMAN
Hello everyone. Please be quiet and pay attention. We're here to hold a family planning clinic. What is family planning? Who can tell me what is family planning?
VOICEOVER
For Zainabu and most of the other women, this is all new.
WOMAN
Implants. These are very popular. They are just inserted into your arm, like this. Then we have the coil. It's not metal. It's plastic. Come and touch it. You see? Can you see it? This stays in place for up to ten years. Now, Mr. Bright is going to show you how to use a condom.
MR. BRIGHT
This condom will prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
WOMAN
We have one more. What have we left out? The one where you don't want any more children at all! We make a cut, then take this tube and tie it. Take this tube and tie it. We use a local anaesthetic. You are not asleep. You can talk. With the anaesthetic, you won't feel any pain. After 3 or 4 days you can have sex again. You can go back to work.
VOICEOVER
After hearing all the options and consulting with a nurse, Zainabu opts for a tubal ligation. Permanent sterilization.
ZAINABU KARGBO
If we don't have any more children we can give the ones we have more attention.
VOICEOVER
The operation will take 25 minutes. Zainabu has a local anaesthetic so is awake the whole time, and the team talked to her.
ZAINABU KARGBO
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.