266217 Strategic Lessons from Iran: Realigning Egyptian Family Planning Marketing and Goals

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dana Alsaadi , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Ali Soroush , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Irene Anne Jillson, PhD , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Background: Egypt experienced a reduction in total fertility rate from 5.6 in 1976 to 2.8 in 2008. However, 12% of married women intending and 6% of those not intending to utilize contraception report personal opposition to use because of perceived religious prohibitions or cultural stigma. These Egyptians are less likely to utilize family planning (FP) resources because of the programs' inadequate consideration of political, cultural, and religious values. To explore how to incorporate these values into Egypt's FP program, we examined Iran's model FP program. Methods: We reviewed the implementation and effectiveness of Iran's FP program. We specifically explored methods used to incorporate Iranian values at various stages of planning and implementation. Findings: The relevant elements of the Iranian FP program are: 1) national dialogue on FP issues; 2) effective marketing strategies; and 3) engagement among program planners and community leaders. Before implementation, Iranian health officials engaged national religious leaders in dialogue regarding the merits and concerns of a FP program, enabling both sides to identify mutually acceptable conditions for program implementation. Health officials then marketed the program as Iranian-developed with a goal to ensure a “just society,” rather than capitulation to outside influences or focused on cost saving. The Iranian FP program engaged local religious leaders in the program implementation, building on their influence on matters of reproductive health. Recommendations: In applying the aforementioned lessons from Iran, the Egyptian FP program could consider local values and improve the potential for program effectiveness.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the necessity to interface family planning programs with community values. Describe the elements of the Iranian family planning program that allowed effective interfacing with national religious, cultural, and political values.

Keywords: Family Planning, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an undergraduate majoring in health sciences and minoring in international health. I have researched global health issues and have traveled extensively in Egypt.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.