Public Health Ministry encourages Thais to make babies with cringe-worthy campaign

The government is worried that the Thai population will stop increasing and are trying to encourage Thais to have more babies with a weird new campaign.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn announced yesterday that the campaign, titled “Rosy-cheeked Thai ladies bear babies for the nation with wonderful vitamins”  should boost the birth rate, according to Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

If that campaign doesn’t make Thais want to jump each other’s bones and make babies, we don’t know what will.

The project targets Thai women, aged 20 – 34, who want children. To guarantee the survival of both mothers and newborns, the ministry plans to develop an efficient health care system that covers marriage, family planning, conception, pregnancy and postnatal care. They will also look into adjusting maternity leaves and creating tax deductions to encourage raising kids.

This Valentine’s day, couples who register with their marriage certificate will receive the “wonderful vitamins,” aka prenatal vitamins containing iron and folic acid, as well as an informational leaflet about how to have a healthy pregnancy.

Wachira Pengcham, Director-General of Health Department, said that a changing modern society is the cause of the lower birth rates as Thai women receive higher educations and get married later or choose not to marry at all. As a result, the population growth rate in 2015 was 0.4%, plummeting from 2.7% in 1970.

Baby Boomers are also starting to die of old age, increasing the death rate while the birth rate is decreasing. If nothing is done, Wachira fears that the population growth rate would be zero, or that the birth rate will equals death rate.

Maternal mortality in Thailand remains at a worrying rate of 20 deaths in every 100,000 pregnancies, mostly due to anemia. Moreover, nutritional deficiencies and children’s delayed development also contribute to low-quality birth and growth.

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