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Lessons from China: excerpts from the Interim Report on the IPPF Mission to China, September 23-October 15, 1977.
Africa Link. 1977 Dec; 4(2):3, 26.In China today, family planning has a strong ideological commitment within the ruling party and the nation, so a strong ideological commitment is necessary for a family planning program to yeild results in a short time. Family planning in China is inseparable from socioeconomic development and anecessary component of social reconstruction, integral with the general way of living. The Maoist effort to equalize opportunities and living levels between urban and rural areas promotes family planning, and since the party is overtly committed to birth control at the highest level, it means family planning is propagated at every social level. Hence, the family planning policy is elaborated and pronounced by the party, but the total operations, while having general central direction and a central core of principles, are greatly decentralized, relying on family planning education to promote the small family norm at all social and geographic levels. Despite the emphasis on education, information on actual methods for fertility control are delayed until the period of marriage, but at that time a broad range of contraceptive devices and agents becomes available to the women in their workplaces, homes and farms at minimal fees. 2 areas of specific study in China are recommended: 1) the delivery system, and 2) the rural motivation--both areas are relevant to the IPPF system, and techniques may be cross-cultural.