The Kalinzi Dispensary is a small health clinic in one of the most remote regions of western Tanzania. Enidyjoy Daniel stands on the porch, looking out over a buzzing crowd of men, women and children. The head nurse at the dispensary, she is a small, graceful woman. Despite the large number of patients awaiting her attention, she remains unruffled. She was born in a village close by and understands the challenges that women face here.
Enidyjoy has been a nurse for many years, including five years at this particular facility. “The women here ache for their families,” she says. “Their greatest challenge is the sickness of their children. There are too many to care for, to keep healthy. The children cannot eat enough and cannot stay warm. They are constantly ill and many of them die too young.”
Enidyjoy is one of seven children herself, and remembers her childhood with a touch of sadness. Her mother and father could not support their family. “It was hard to get an education; we had to help provide food, water and firewood,” she says. One day, a neighboring orphanage put out a call for workers to help care for the growing number of abandoned children. Enidjoy’s desperate father took her to the orphanage and left her there. Over the years, she helped to care for younger children and became passionate about becoming a nurse. The memory of those years continues to fuel her dedication to her career and to promoting family planning.
With the support of USAID, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and their implementing partner EngenderHealth, the dispensary provides reproductive and child health care to the women and children of Enidyjoy’s community. Enidyjoy sees 300 to 400 people a month, a number that can sometimes overwhelm the staff of only four. And Enidyjoy is the only trained family planning provider, which she admits can be exhausting. But she does the best she can, believing that women could lead better lives if they could plan their families.
Enidyjoy says the women here are strong. “They are used to hard lives; they fight to survive,” she says. “If given the opportunity, they can put their strong will into creating stronger families, stronger communities. They can reduce sickness in their homes, reduce the number of women and children dying… All they need is access to family planning. From that comes health, education and economic opportunity.”
Photo by Dominic Chavez/FP2020