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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH EDUCATION. 1974; 17(4):235-47.Extracts from the backgound paper for the Consultation Meeting of the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization are presented. The meeting's purpose was to obtain specific recommendations that might be used by WHO, PAHO, and the member countries in developing educational personnel for programs dealing with family health and health aspects of reproduction. After reviewing the problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, the various kinds of constraints which have implications for health problems are examined, and key issues relating to family health are analyzed. Many health experts maintain that the family planning approach is the most effective and least expensive means of reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, yet in most countries it is perceived primarily as a means of containing or reducing population growth. In most family planning programs the number of new acceptors appears to be the criterion for measuring success; little if any emphasis is given to continuation of use, teaching the health reasons for regulating reproduction, or increasing acceptance among women with high health risks. In some programs, eligibility requirements are such that many women of high health risk cannot be served. Thus far, research and studies to promote the development of the educational component of family planning programs or to orient selection of educational methodology have had minimal support. In most countries the full potential of the resources invested to achieve improvements in maternal and child health is not being realized. This is partly because of the fact that there is no explicit national policy giving direction to the development of an integrated approach. Few countries have policies and plans for health manpower development and utilization that are based on a careful analysis of priority health needs.