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    058684

    Family planning, the Lebanese experience. A study on the Lebanese Family Planning Association.

    Iliyya S

    [Unpublished] 1984 Jul. [4], 193 p.

    As of 1984, Lebanon had not yet formulated a clear and specific population policy because laws existed against contraception and political differences among the various ethnic groups also existed which culminated in a civil war. Nevertheless the government condoned the creation of the Lebanese Family Planning Association (LFPA) in August 1969 and its activities. The government also helped spread family planning through its own institutions such as the Ministry of Health and the Office of Social Development. Further some of LFPA's staff members have been part of the government itself. LFPA conducted a survey in June 1975 in Zahrani in rural south Lebanon and it showed that the people wished to limit their fertility, but could not since birth control was not available. Therefore LFPA established the 1st Community Based Family Planning Services Program in Zahrani which later spread to other villages. Wasitas (field workers) served as the major means of providing birth control and information to the women. They emphasized child spacing. The wasitas also served as a major adaptive and indigenous agent of social change and development. Initially they underwent intensive training lasting at least 1 week, but in 1979, LFPA hosted annual 1 month training sessions. The wasitas use of traditional communication methods resulted in not only an increase of contraceptive use, but also in meeting the elemental needs of the women for psychological comfort and self reliance. In some instances, however, some wasitas resorted to deception in encouraging the most uneducated women to use birth control because of strong incentives, e.g., the wasita received 50% of the money earned for the sale of each contraceptive. LFPA needed to reassess those measures which lead to possible encroachment of the dignity and freedom of choice of the women villagers.
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