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Are country reputations for good and bad leadership on AIDS deserved? An exploratory quantitative analysis.
Journal of Public Health. 2008 Dec; 30(4):398-406.Some countries (e.g. Brazil) have good reputations on AIDS policy, whereas others, (notably South Africa) have been criticized for inadequate leadership. Cross-country regression analysis reveals that these 'poster children' for AIDS leadership have indeed performed better or worse than expected given their economic and institutional constraints and the demographic and health challenges facing them. Regressions were run on HAART coverage (number on highly active antiretroviral therapy as percentage of total need) and MTCTP coverage (pregnant HIV+ women accessing mother-to-child-transmission prevention services as percentage of total need). Brazil, Cambodia, Thailand and Uganda (all of whom have established reputations for good leadership on AIDS performed consistently better than expected-as did Burkina-Faso, Suriname, Paraguay Costa Rica, Mali and Namibia. South Africa, which has the worst reputation for AIDS leadership, performed significantly below expectations-as did Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago. The paper thus confirms much of the conventional wisdom on AIDS leadership at country level and suggests new areas for research.
Lancet. 2008 Oct 11; 372(9646):1287-90.Nigeria has had several setbacks in its bid to control poliomyelitis, including false rumours about vaccine safety. Now public anger over the failure of the ailing health system to deliver for its people threatens to derail the country's eradication campaign. Margaret Harris Cheng reports. Not only is Nigeria struggling to contain its poliomyelitis outbreak, it is now exporting the virus across its porous borders, and the disease is using the region's ancient trade routes to spread itself across Africa once more. (excerpt)
Johannesburg, South Africa, Gender Links, 2008. 100 p.This report is part of Mirror on the Media series of monitoring reports coordinated by GL with the support of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) on gender and the media. Previous studies include: Gender and Advertising in Southern Africa; Who talks on radio talk shows and Who makes the news, an analysis of the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) results in Southern Africa. The study focused on gender and tabloids in three Southern African countries with the highest density of tabloids, defined both in terms of size and content. It included monitoring of three newspapers in each country over the month of June 2007. The monitoring covered a total of 2546 news items: 859 in Mauritius; 1203 in South Africa and 484 in Tanzania (where tabloids are much fewer pages than in the other countries). Researchers also conducted desk top research; interviewed editors; gathered case material and administered an audience survey to 280 readers in the three countries. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2007. Presented at the International Marketing Conference on Marketing and Society, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), April 8-10, 2007.  p.Reducing the number of children affected by polio from 1000 per day to around 4 per day is not a small feat by any standard only if, we hadn't decided to eradicate polio and, it wasn't six year since the target for eradication was set. Since the WHA resolution of 1988, globally over USD 4 billion has been spent, more than 10 million volunteers has administered around 10 billion polio doses in hundreds of National and supplementary immunization days (NIDs and SNIDs) across the world. The initial few years in eradication were, undoubtedly, remarkable with countries and continents being freed from the infection and disease. Although, the eradication target of year 2000 could not be achieved, but it was never far from sight till, vaccination activities were stopped in Nigeria in 2003. Situation created by the resulting outbreaks there and, following importation of the wild polio virus (WPV) to other countries changed the eradication scenario, in spite of the many efforts; this spread of polio could still not be halted on time. Even in 2006, some pockets of WPV i.e. one in Moradabad, India and some other in Kano, Nigeria are cause of concern for eradication experts as it is clear now that polio will not be eradicated before year 2007. Back in 1988, no one had envisaged that polio eradication will be this difficult. The explanation for current outbreak is being given by 'four year cycle' of return of polio as even earlier in 1998 and 2002, there were outbreaks. Situation in Nigeria and India are suggestive that it will take at least one year before Polio is eradicated. The hope goes down as the number of cases goes up in 2006 than last 3 year. India has reported the highest number of cases in last 4 years. Much of the debate is going on the strategy followed to eradicate polio out of world. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2005. Presented at the First Annual International Conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative: Improving Public Policy to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Harnessing Science and Technology Capacity, November 7-8, 2005, Nairobi, Kenya.  p.This document breaks down the controversy of the safety of polio immunization efforts in Nigeria. The four main points that this document discusses are: polio campaigns were suspended in several northern states; negative media discussion about safety of vaccine in national and international media; trusted community and religious leaders speak out against polio vaccine; and mistrust in oral polio vaccine leading to non-acceptance. (excerpt)
Adapting the popular opinion leader intervention for Latino young migrant men who have sex with men.
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2006; 18 Suppl A:137-148.Young Latino migrant men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV infection. The Popular Opinion Leader intervention, shown to be effective with White gay men, was adapted by the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc., for this Latino migrant population. This project, called the Young Latino Promotores, was implemented over a 2-year period by community-based organizations in Vista, California, and McAllen, Texas, with capacity building assistance from the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc. We report on challenges, preliminary findings, and lessons learned from adapting this intervention. (author's)
Journal of Community Health. 2006 Apr; 31(2):84-93.The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and barriers to use of postpartum care service among rural communities in Uganda. Study was a part of a larger reproductive health evaluation project, and was cross-sectional in nature utilizing qualitative research methods using the narrative inquiry. Two matched rural communities were used in this study; Semuto in Luwero district, and Lwamaggwa in Rakai district. Fifty key informants who were purposefully selected from each study site were interviewed. They included community leaders, political leaders, health care providers, women leaders and community members. One-on-one interviews were conducted with key community informants using an interview guide. The purpose of the interview was explained to each participant, and written informed consent was obtained before the start of the interview. Respondents were allowed to express their views, opinions and observations on several health issues including postpartum health care services. There was a low level of knowledge about postpartum care services among the respondents of the two communities. There was lack of awareness about postpartum care and it's benefits. The main barriers to use of services were; misconceptions regarding the importance of postpartum care, distance to health facilities, poverty, and health system factors notably; poor facilities, lack of essential drugs, and poor attitudes of health workers. In the effort to improve reproductive health care services, there is an urgent need to improve postpartum services, and make them more accessible and user friendly. The training of providers at all levels is essential, in addition to educating families on the importance of postpartum care services. (author's)
‘But where are our moral heroes?’ An analysis of South African press reporting on children affected by HIV / AIDS.
Rondebosch, South Africa, University of Cape Town, Children's Institute, 2005 Sep. 34 p.Messages conveyed both explicitly and implicitly in the media play an important role in the shaping of public understanding of issues, as well as associated policy, programme and popular responses to these issues. This paper applies discourse analysis to a series of articles on children affected by HIV/AIDS published in 2002/ 2003 in the English-medium South African press. The analysis reveals layer upon layer of moral messaging present in the reporting, the cumulative effect of which is the communication of a series of moral judgements about who is and who is not performing appropriate roles in relation to children. Discourses of moral transgression specifically on the part of African parents and ‘families’ for failing in their moral responsibilities towards their children coalesce with discourses of anticipated moral decay amongst (previously innocent) children who lack their due care. The need for moral regeneration amongst South Africans generally (but implicitly black South Africans) is contrasted with an accolade of (usually white) middle class individuals who have gone beyond their moral duty to respond. The paper argues that in each instance, the particular moralism is questionable in the light of both empirical evidence and principles of human dignity underlying our constitution. Children – and particularly ‘AIDS orphans’ – are shown to be presented as either the quintessential innocent victims of the epidemic or as potential delinquents. While journalists intentions when representing children in these ways are likely to be positive, the paper argues that this approach is employed at a cost, both in the public’s knowledge and attitudes around the impact of AIDS, and more importantly, in the lives of children affected by the epidemic. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2001 Feb. 42 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection Key Material; UNAIDS/01.05E)This handbook aims to equip scientists especially with ideas, skills, and knowledge on how to relate to the media and thereby reach both the general public and some specific groups. The handbook is not a communication strategy and does not address all aspects of communication and audiences that must be included in effective communication about vaccine trials. Many vaccine development and vaccine trials in humans have to be carried out with the expressed support and cooperation of national governments. Such cooperation usually manifests itself through regulations and monitoring by organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA or equivalent national institutions. Consequently, there is a necessary collaboration between government and medicine (science) in the interests of public health. Ordinarily, that would be a good thing. But, ironically, in many countries, this is a collaboration between two 'institutions' whose popularity and public confidence have dwindled over the years, and their support for HIV vaccine trials does not readily translate into public confidence in those trials. (excerpt)
Situation analysis of the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of stakeholders and key target groups regarding the family planning program in the Philippines.
[Manila, Philippines], Academy for Educational Development [AED], Social Acceptance Project, 2003 Jan.  p. (Academy for Educational Development, Social Acceptance Project Working Paper)The initiative for this research study came from the Social Acceptance Project of the Academy for Education and Development (AED) which has been launched by USAID as part of the continuing reexamination of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) and in response to the Cairo Declaration calling for fresh initiatives and approaches not only for women but also other key stakeholders such as men and youth. The re-focusing of the country’s population program calls for no less than the creation of a climate of public opinion that supports and encourages couples to practice effective family planning methods in vast enough numbers that will impact the country’s runaway population growth that is considered to be the highest in Southeast Asia. In the light of these social communication issues and concerns, the Social Acceptance Project had come up with the following approaches to “internalize” the small family norm and use of modern contraceptive methods among Filipinos through: a) Increase health literacy and improve the flow of accurate information about family planning; b) Increase dialogue about family planning and the credibility of health providers and the medical profession as sources of information; c) Raise the cultural legitimacy of family planning practice; and d) Build local capacities. This report in turn, was designed to: provide a basic review of the psychological, sociological and cultural factors that may result in the practice or non-practice of family planning; briefly analyze the issues and concerns that explain how communication interventions can lead to behavioral change, client satisfaction, and other desired results for the Social Acceptance Project; come up with a list of recommendations that can be used for future researches and/ or monitoring and evaluation of proposed IEC interventions. (excerpt)
Round Table. 1998; 348:485-503.Contrary to the intentions of the Chinese government and despite appearances the May 1998 elections for Hong Kong's legislature failed to destroy the voters' attachment to political parties and to individuals committed to democratic reform. The outcome made it impossible for the government to maintain a minimalist rôle in managing Hong Kong's response to the major economic upheavals facing the entire region and within a month forced the introduction of a package of measures to relieve hardship and revive the economy. The article traces the approach to the question of democracy against the background of the complex negotiations that led up to the restoration of Hong Kong to Chinese rule and the shaping of the post-1997 political system. It outlines the efforts by Christopher Patten, Hong Kong's last Governor, to secure the post-1997 legislature for the supporters of democracy and the innate hostility of the Chinese leadership towards conventional democratic process. (author's)
Dacca, Bangladesh, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, April 1977. 41 p.Reports on a survey conducted to identify the formal and informal opinion leaders as perceived by the people of Bangladesh, and to assess their attitude towards family planning. Findings indicate that the contraception practice rate among opinion leaders is significantly higher than the average, and it is recommended that specific orientation and training in the skills of interpersonal and group communication be arranged for them to effect a transfer of motivation to the people in their locality. Also established is the fact that obstacles to family planning due to religious belief is more a function of the leaders' perception of people's attitude than a function of reality. Opinion leaders fail to identify population as the root problem, so that family planning education should be structured around the felt problems of food, unemployment, poverty, and so forth. The need for a greater degree of husband-wife communication about family planning is indicated, as well as a change in the traditional status of women. A family planning program with an incentive-disincentive aspect should be deemphasized. Finally, the survey reveals that the local leadership is not yet ready to take major responsibility in family planning communication.
Islamic precepts and family planning: the perceptions of Jordanian religious leaders and their constituents.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2000 Sep; 26(3):110-7, 136.Two nationally representative surveys, one of 1000 married women aged 15-49 and the other of 1000 men married to women aged 15-49, and a census of all Muslim religious leaders in Jordan collected information on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding family planning, and sources of information about it. 80% of men, 86% of women, 82% of male religious leaders and 98% of female religious leaders believe that family planning is in keeping with the tenets of Islam. Among religious leaders, 36% reported that they had preached about family planning in the year preceding the survey. 75% of women and 62% of men in the general public said that they had spoken about family planning with their spouse, and 9% and 17%, respectively, reported having spoken with a religious leader. On a scale of 0-10 measuring agreement with statements regarding the benefits of family planning (with 10 being in complete agreement), women averaged 9.4 and men 8.8, while male religious leaders averaged 6.5 and female religious leaders 7.2. Among the general public, 74% of women and 58% of men said that deciding to practice contraception is a joint decision between husband and wife. About 90% of religious leaders agreed or agreed strongly with the statement that contraceptive decisions should be made jointly by husband and wife. Women were significantly more likely than men to believe that specific contraceptive methods are permitted under Islam, and male religious leaders were more likely than were men in the general population to find specific methods acceptable. Only 26% of men cited interpersonal communication as a source of family planning information, compared with 66% of women, 73% of male religious leaders and 89% of female religious leaders. Almost three-quarters of men and women said they want to know more about family planning. Although Islamic religious leaders in Jordan cite different reasons than the general public to justify the use of contraceptives, they are as likely as others in the population to approve of family planning. (author's, modified)
[Unpublished] 1993. Presented at the Reunion Preparatoire de la Conference Regionale sur l'Excision, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, May 17-19, 1993.  p.Niger s general population is inadequately informed on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), a taboo subject in the country. During a study conducted in 6 of the country s administrative departments, researchers found that FGM is practiced and perpetuated in at least Diffa, Tillabery, and Niamey. The geographic and ethnic distribution of the practice is described. Excision types I and II are typically performed in these populations. Those who practice FGM in Niger justify their actions by citing religious, sociocultural, and psychosexual reasons. The actual practice of FGM is described, followed by consideration of its consequences. Those consequences can include a range of different health problems for the excised woman, over both the short and long terms. Efforts should be made to make Niger s public aware of the adverse consequences of FGM upon the health of both women and their children. FGM will not be eradicated without the active involvement and support of community leaders, opinion leaders, mutilated women, the representatives of various sects, and the media. The war against FGM is discussed.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1998 Jul-Aug; 30(4):177-81.Because there are few qualitative data on the attitudes of district attorneys towards the local enforcement of statutory rape laws called for by the 1996 federal welfare reform law, anonymous surveys were sent to all 105 Kansas district attorneys in 1997. Data were gathered from the 92 returned surveys and from in-depth telephone interviews with seven of the respondents. It was found that 74% of the respondents favored aggressive enforcement, but only 37% believed the public would support such action, and only 24% thought enforcement would reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy. While 57% supported the legal age of consent in Kansas (16 years), 53% thought the law should not specify age differences between the partners, but prosecutions are the exception when the age difference is less than 3 years unless the victim was mentally disabled or the case involved force. Most of the district attorneys (77%) rejected the view that a minor who is already sexually active does not merit the protection of statutory rape laws, and 78% felt that paternity acknowledgements should be admissible evidence in prosecutions. Only 17% expressed the opinion that enforcement would discourage adolescents from seeking health care. It was concluded that the impact of statutory rape prosecution on reproductive and psychological health should be considered on a case-by-case basis and that potentially negative impacts can be minimized by educating law enforcement officials about adolescent health care issues.
BMJ (CLINICAL RESEARCH ED.). 1998 Mar 28; 316(7136):960.In the UK, Dr. David Southall courts publicity for child advocacy issues and takes risks to improve child health and well-being. Some of his methods have been controversial, such as conducting research on the effects of high altitudes (including air travel) on infants and the use of covert video surveillance to trap suspected child abusers. In order to end child abuse, Southall willingly breaks the trust between himself as a child's physician and parents, considering the child his patient. Southall also notes that his charity, Child Advocacy International, has suffered sabotage in a campaign against his activities orchestrated by organized child sexual abuse rings. Southall spent 4 years in adult medicine, 1 year in obstetrics, and 2 years as a general practitioner before embarking on a 21-year career in pediatrics. Now he is interested in advocacy for international child health. His charity gives physicians an opportunity to engage in international work in Afghanistan, Albania, and Bosnia. He set up Child Advocacy International after being appalled by conditions he encountered on a 1993 trip to Bosnia to evacuate sick and injured children. Southall believes that developing countries should organize primary and secondary health care systems in tandem.
[Unpublished] . 155 p. (Communication for Action)In preparation for a social mobilization response to the goals outlined in the "Presidential Declaration of a Decade for the Protection and Development of the Egyptian Child, 1989-99" and the "World Summit for Children," a baseline study was conducted in 1990 to assess communicators' knowledge and perceptions of basic child care issues. Mini-rapid studies were conducted with six groups of personnel in a position to influence public opinion: mass media professionals (230), health professionals (225), members of active nongovernmental organizations (160), educators (224), religious leaders (123), and public figures (41). The questionnaire included basic health knowledge, perceptions of general problems facing Egyptian society, several attitude scales, and 6 different modules addressed to each of the groups. The majority of communicators identified Egypt's economic situation and population explosion as the most pressing social issues. Knowledge about child health issues, especially oral rehydration therapy, was generally inadequate for the needs of the child survival campaign. The mean knowledge score was 17.35 out of a maximum of 24, with health workers scoring highest and public officials lowest. Electronic mass media were ranked as most influential for disseminating health messages. Although health workers have the most direct contact with families, they were not perceived by other influentials as a major source of information because of their lack of training in communication. The importance placed on economics and population growth suggests that child welfare advocates should relate campaign messages to these issues, e.g., the impact on the economy of improved maternal-child health.
[The private domain of public health. Power, politics and AIDS in the Congo] Le domaine prive de la sante publique. Pouvoir, politique et SIDA au Congo.
ANNALES. HISTOIRE, SCIENCES SOCIALES. 1994 Jul-Aug; 49(4):745-75.A review of the appearance and development of the AIDS epidemic in the Congo and the manner in which political authorities and the media responded to the new problem provide the basis for this analysis of how AIDS became the subject of public policy without becoming a topic of political debate or of discussion in the media. Public officials invested significant human and financial resources in the control program, but discussion of the illness remained almost entirely private. Physicians at the General Hospital in Brazzaville first noticed a surge of cases of intense and rapidly fatal diarrhea in the late 1970s. Five cases were diagnosed among patients sent to France in 1983, but until late 1985 existence of the disease in the Congo was not publicly acknowledged. Not until 1987 did the radio and newspapers refer to AIDS as present in the Congo and not just in western countries. This work describes the political background of the end of nearly three decades of autocratic rule and the opening of public debate on a range of social issues. The absence of comment in the media is discussed, as is the general silence of the medical profession and the reluctance to divulge their seropositivity status to patients and blood donors. The threat of witchcraft accusations and the inability to provide effective treatment are explored as factors in the silence. The response of religious groups and the competition for public favor and converts are lively, but remain firmly situated in the private realm. It is concluded that the public silence surrounding this collective illness finds its origins in the way in which it calls into question the power and the actions of the government. Open debate on AIDS policy might lead to a broader consideration of public health, allocation of resources, inequity in the distribution of drugs and services, and other aspects that could prove controversial. But democratization of political life in the Congo may eventually open the way to debate on questions of society and health until now left to the private attention of politicians.
[Attitudes toward the environment: a North / South analysis] Attitudes face a l'environnement: une analyse Nord / Sud.
REVUE TIERS MONDE. 1992 Apr-Jun; 33(130):355-72.The results of public opinion surveys were used to assess the variation in views and attitudes toward the environment among different social strata in several countries. The developed countries have recently become concerned about the disappearance of the rain forests, but mere survival is more of a preoccupation for the majority of Brazilians than damage tot he rain forest. A survey of a representative national sample during the 1989 presidential election indicated that fewer than 10% of Brazilians considered ecological problems among the 3 major national problems. But in a survey to determine which environmental problems in Brazil were considered most serious, burning of the tropical forest was identified by the greatest proportion of respondents, 19%, followed by industrial pollution of rivers and cities, 17%. Surveys in 1990-91 in Great Britain indicated in contrast that some 92% of respondents were in favor of 1 or more measures to limit deterioration of the tropical forest, such as limiting importation of wood from countries not protecting their forests or contributing funds to ecological groups. Opinion surveys in British Columbia, whose main economic activity is forestry, showed that 40% of respondents considered ecological problems to be the most serious, ahead of unemployment, the economy, or social services. But specific questions on clear cutting of forests, preservation of old forest in Vancouver, or pollution controls for the paper industry, which closely affected the local economy, divided opinion and probably demonstrated a desire to protect the environment without too greatly disturbing the local economy. Study of the reactions of developing country populations to environmental problems is difficult because of language and cultural barriers, political instability, war, natural catastrophes, and difficulty of establishing representative samples, among other factors. Results of a study of the opinion of the Maya population of southern Mexico and northern Guatemala on deforestation, land use, and development are expected to appear shortly. A study in Lima identified the proliferation of refuse in the street as the worst ecological problem for 42%, followed by air pollution caused by automotive exhausts for 30%. Only 1% believed disappearance of the rain forest to be the principal problem. The ordering of ecological problems was significantly influenced by social class. A comparison of the views on ecological problems of opinion leaders and the general public was conducted in 1988-89 in 16 countries on 4 continents. In most cases, the opinions of the leaders corresponded to those of the general public. Most respondents in all countries except Saudi Arabia considered their environment of average quality, and a majority believed that the place where they lived had worsening environmental conditions over the past decade. Majorities in all countries except Japan stated they support organizations that protect the environment.
Motivation and legitimation: living conditions, social control and the reproductive regimes in Belgium and France from the 16th through the 19th century.
Brussels, Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Interuniversity Programme in Demography, 1989. 46 p. (IPD Working Paper 1989-2)The economic, political, and social records of Belgium and France from the 16th through the 19th century were analyzed, and the influence of material living conditions, strategies of property transmission, and attempts by elites to alter popular culture on nuptiality and marital fertility during the period are detailed. Reasons for France's early marital fertility decline are compared with Belgium's more delayed transition. It is stressed that rising household income is not the only path the change. There are many paths to marital fertility transition. Historical analysis reveals that classic factors believed to lead to demographic transition do not explain the first half of the French fertility decline. Demographic transition is also possible as a result of economic and political crises forcing ideological overhaul. Explaining the nature of these alternate paths to change, the role of institutional actors such as religious and political agencies in competing for power and influence to impose and defend their ideologies is pointed out. These are active and dynamic agencies capable of altering strategies when required. Such agencies have had a significant impact on the course of demographic history in the 2 countries examined. Models of demographic change must incorporate the effect of these institutional agencies. The need for joint motivation and legitimation in effecting transition is discussed.
ASIA-PACIFIC POPULATION JOURNAL. 1990 Jun; 5(2):73-8.Technology and population rely on each other for sustenance and growth. Technology has helped produce more food, provide better health care, better communication, faster modes of travel, better consumer durables, greater amenities, and increased the quality of life for millions of people. There has been a price in terms of the widening gap between the technology of the developed and developing countries. There has also been rapid population growth that has resulted in a host of ills. Further, technology itself has produced toxic wastes and consumed a large amount of natural resources. This situation is easily seen as a dilemma between the limitless promises of technology and the limited resources created by large populations. The solution to the dilemma is sustainable development, a concept often talked about but seldom realized. The 90s will be a crucial decade for sustainable development as population is growing by 90 million/annum. 90% of the increase is occurring in developing countries. Within each country there is a trend towards urbanization. By 2000, 75% of Latin Americans, 42% of Africans, and 37% of Asians will live in urban environments. By 2050 there should be 100s of millions of migrants running from the slowly rising sea. The survival equation is sustainability S equals resources R time ingenuity 1 over population P. This is a conceptual equation, but it does illustrate that the impact of human ingenuity is just as important as resources. World commitment must come before any meaningful change will occur. The almost universal acceptance of human rights and fundamental freedoms exceeds the will to change in decision makers and expert consultants.
ISSUES IN REPRODUCTIVE AND GENETIC ENGINEERING. 1990; 3(1):13-21.Examining newspaper and magazine articles, the author compares the media treatment of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with sex determination tests in India. Analysis found general media support and glorification of IVF and related technologies, but only mixed opinions regarding sex- determination testing. Mixed support for the latter form of new reproductive technologies is attributed to the debate and campaigning of women's groups, health activists, and some political leaders against amniocentesis. While public opinion regarding IVF from the feminist's perspective is just gaining ground, the author points to the classic, racist, eugenic, and patriarchal nature of both types of new reproductive technology. Anti-women in nature, they reinforce fertility as an important indicator of women's status, and will be used in population control in the future.
[Unpublished] 1989 Oct. , 15 p.A preliminary investigation revealed a large gap between knowledge and practice in the area of family planning in Egypt. Informal opinion leaders have a lot of power and influence in the social system. This study examines the role that informal opinion leaders play in shaping the behavior of rural citizens in Egypt. Communication habits, awareness of the population problem, and how individuals make decisions concerning family planning are also explored. The study employed the use of 50 question interview schedule and 6 questionnaires designed to gather information about the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents. It was intended to be representative of the entire country; 400 respondents from 15 different governorates were interviewed, 50% were males and 50% were females. The majority of the respondents were in the 20-40 age group (81.7%), while 3.9% were between 15 and 20 years and 14.4% were 45 years and above. 47% of the respondents were illiterate, 16.5% could read and write, 26.4% has intermediate certificates, and 65 were university graduates. Many of the respondents were housewives, government employees, and farmers. 71.1% of the sample was married. The findings of the study are organized into 6 sections. Section 1 examines communication behavior; exposure to mass media; preferences in radio, TV, journals, and magazines; and attendance at public family planning meetings. Section 2 explores level and sources of family planning information. The third section briefly discusses the priority concerns of the Egyptian public. Religion and family planning is the focus of section 4 and sources of informal consultation in matters of religion, health, and agriculture are reviewed in the fifth section. The last section of the findings examines the credibility of sources of information. The 2 tables in this section list the perceptions of respondents regarding who they consult and the characteristics of these sources. The findings generated several recommendations. It is suggested that communication messages intended to promote family planning should relate the positive effects that family planning has on the standard of living. The consequences of not practicing family in regard to standard of living should also be communicated. It is also recommended that directors of the information, education, and communication centers in the governorates develop a strong liaison relationship with local opinion leaders. A partnership between directors and leaders would give credibility to the messages being delivered by the center. Community meetings should also be organized to encourage discussion about population issues and give support to family planning activities. Finally, training courses for the opinion leaders was suggested.
POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT. 1990 Fall; 12(1):5-8.Cornucopians such as Julian Simon and Ben J. Wattenberg hold the opinion that the population explosion will lead to a better quality of life for everyone in the long run. They contend that hardships should be viewed as merely the incentive to attain economic prosperity through less expensive and more abundant resources. A necessary part of this argument is that the human population must continue to grow or it will begin to decline economically. In terms of the U.S., this includes birth, prolongation of life, and immigration. Support for this type of thinking is growing in the media and in the political halls of our country. Starting with demographic data up to 1960 and then predicting the future has shown some interesting results. The equation predicted a human population in 1980 of 3.969 billion (The actual was 445 million higher). The prediction for 1990 was 5.033 billion (in 1987 the population passed this figure). The time for the human population to double has been getting shorter each time it happens. It took from 1880 to 1950 to go from 1.25 billion to 2.5 billion--but only 37 years to get to 5 billion. The equation predicts another doubling in 20 years. However, if we take a linearly decreasing doubling times to its mathematical conclusion, then the world will end in 40 years. The process will have reached a region of instability well before 2026 when the human population will become infinite. So it seems that the cornucopian's theory is doomed to failure.
JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 1981 Spring; 31(2):106-15.The nature of science reporting for the U.S. mass media is detailed as an introduction to a brief analysis of the effect of media coverage on public opposition to science issues. There are a small number of scientist "stars" often seen on television, and a similar small number of influential reporters of science, about 50, who dominate the print media. There is a localized, slender communication link between the science community and the journalist community, with friendly exchange of information and favors. This local bias is exemplified by the public relations received on publication of the book "Sociobiology, A Science of Altruism," described as a manufactured "science event" turned into a national controversy via this narrow communications channel. It is possible to demonstrate fluctuations in media coverage, such as by numbers of articles indexed in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, and Television News: Index and Abstracts. When publicity of issues is plotted vs. public opinion polls, on issues such as fluoridation and nuclear power plants, an increase in public hostility can be seen with each rise in publicity. Media exposure to scientific issues seems to encourage public opposition and suspicion, suggesting that the public is either discriminatory, or perhaps anxious in a counter-productive direction.