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    Improving public confidence in Depo-Provera.

    Senanayake P; Rajkumar R

    London, International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1981 Nov. 14 p.

    Over the years the member Family Planning Associations (FPAs) of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have gained considerable experience in counteracting opposition to family planning. In this presentation focused on adapting FPA experience to combatting adverse publicity on Depo-Provera, attention is directed to the courtship by FPAs of the decision makers and opinion leaders whose cooperation is essential since their reaction to ill-formed and hostile publicity could mean the difference between the success or total failure of a particular family planning program. In several respects, and to family planning workers particularly, it is the local controversy that matters the most because it is here that the health and well-being of mothers and children are directly involved. It is here too that adverse publicity may have a particularly serious effect if opposition to Depo-Provera transforms itself into mistrust of family planning which is far from firmly established in many societies. Yet, decisions which can also affect the health of the individuals may be made outside the country concerned because the misleading information provided by the anti-Depo-Provera lobby has reached the desks of decision makers in aid giving nations. To deal with the invidious position in which family planning staff may find themselves, FPAs have employed a number of techniques. They have helped to create positive attitudes to family planning by identifying, contacting, and informing key people--decision makers and opinion leaders in the community--who are likely to support their programs and who are in a position to promote the message. As a logical extension of this effort, they have acted to neutralize hostile opinion. They have identified the opposition, its leaders, and their main arguments and have established contact with them in order to find, if possible, areas of agreement. They have broadened the idea of family planning so that leaders are able to perceive the wider social development and health implications of family planning. There is evidence that when properly briefed a health minister or official is in a better position to make informed decisions, making a valuable contribution to the Depo-Provera debate.
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